New resource in fight against childhood obesity

If obesity among the young continues at the current rate, it is estimated that one fifth of boys and one third of girls will be obese by the year 2020. But a new CD Rom is to be launched to offer advice and support to West Midlands health workers faced with the rising tide of childhood obesity.
The University of Wolverhampton has secured funding of £20,000 from the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to develop the CD Rom and its content.
Faith Muir, Senior Lecturer Health Visiting and Public Health, and Sarah Sherwin, Senior Lecturer Primary Care School Nursing and course leader for School Nurses, say this is an important step forward in the fight against the increasing problem of obesity in children.
The new CD Rom will be distributed to between 500 and 800 West Midlands health workers, including health visitors and school nurses, and potentially other practitioners who offer support and advice on healthy eating to children, young people and their families/carers. It will offer a ‘one-stop’ shop for information about childhood obesity and to allow health staff to share experience and good practice. There will also be links to websites, resources, journals and training programmes and courses.
The collaborative venture involving the University and West Midlands Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) aims to provide practical help, such as how to advise people on cooking on a shoestring and develop balanced menus for youngsters.
Sarah Sherwin says: “Childhood obesity affects everybody and is everybody’s business, from health workers to sports staff – and it is getting worse. It is a problem across the country and at all levels of society.
“There is not just one professional group that can deal with this – working together is crucial.
“The new CD Rom will be a networking source that people will find useful as a point of information about various initiatives that are taking place across the West Midlands region. We want to have a preventative approach – not wait until children get obese and then have to see a dietician. We want to ensure people are supported to get things right from day one.”
The CD Rom is expected to be completed and distributed to practitioners in spring 2008. It could potentially be rolled out to other areas of the country in the future.

Further information

For more information, contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.
This project is being delivered through the School of Health's Community Health Research Hub - a centre for primary care and health development research & evaluation that contributes to professional, academic and policy development.
The primary aims of the unit are to build research capacity, and to undertake multi disciplinary action/evaluative research on practice developments and topics of interests to primary care & health development specialists and their managers. They also assist in short term project management or the development of services. The unit has a number of highly skilled staff with expertise across a variety of disciplines who are knowledgeable about local issues and able to assist on both small and larger projects.
If you have an idea for a project and would like to discuss this further please contact Mr Ranjit Khutan, the Hub Co-ordinator, at or 01902 321151.

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