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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 199

Date:- 01 May 2005

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Liverpool kids have a ball staying healthy

YOUNG children in Liverpool are being given a healthy start in life thanks to new investment in a sport programme. The city council's Early Years service is pledging £75,000 to provide new sports equipment for kids aged 6-12 at 88 out of school clubs across the city. The health and fitness programme is part of the city's pioneering SportsLinx project, which aims to promote nutrition and physical activity and is recognised by Sport England as an example of best practice in tackling obesity.

20 clubs will receive 6 bags of new sports equipment - such as footballs, rugby balls and cones for fitness, worth nearly £1,500, in this phase of investment on Wednesday 27 April. Early Years co-ordinators at the clubs will also receive full training to run sports and fitness sessions. 

Liverpool City Council's assistant executive member for education, Councillor Jan Clein, said:- "We are committed to helping both the young and not-so-young to stay fit and healthy and it is never too early to start. We have invested millions of pounds across the city to enable all ages to have access to facilities which will help them live a long and healthy life."

Liverpool City Council's health and physical activity officer, Liz Lamb, said:- "This is a great opportunity to improve the health, fitness and well-being of our children to make sure they can reach their full potential. These out of school clubs are a great place to make a real impact on children and encourage them and their parents to adopt a healthy lifestyle from a young age. Along with the 'Liverpool-Active City' strategy, this is helping to put kids on the first step of the ladder towards a healthy lifestyle."

Head of Early Years at the city council, Helen Winrow, said:- "We place great importance on encouraging a healthy lifestyle and we are delighted to be able to help deliver this to our city's children. The earlier we can get children to take up physical activity the better it is for them."

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ON Friday 29 April 2005, at 12.30, Jo Jones will give a talk by Rosa Bonheur about:-  PLOUGHING IN THE NIVERNAI

North West Gets Set for the Binge Holiday Weekend

THOUSANDS of people in the North West are putting their health at risk by weekend binge eating it emerged yesterday. The survey carried out by The Slug and Lettuce bar chain, showed that despite 69% of people living in the North West sticking to a healthy eating regime during the working week, a massive 67% admitted to breaking their diets at the weekend.

At a national level, of the 3,000 people taking part from around the UK, the survey also revealed that women are far more likely to fall off the dieting wagon with 7 out of 10 women breaking their diets EVERY weekend. However men don't seem to be too far behind with 28% admitting to piling on the pounds over the 2-day break.

So with over a 3rd of people in the North West region claiming to try out different diets regularly, where does the problem lie? Jason Danciger, catering director and head of the teams responsible for the new Slug and Lettuce menu said:- "Although the binge eating culture is obviously a worrying phenomenon, I think it stems mainly from people being constantly told what to eat and what not to eat. These conflicting messages seem to effect peoples eating habits to such an extent that moderation goes completely out of the window.

Treating yourself occasionally throughout the week as well as at the weekend is the best way to having a more balanced diet. Regionally sourced foods, fair-trade ingredients and gluten free dishes are for example, just a few elements on the Slug and Lettuce menu, but these are mixed in with some well loved classics such as sausage and mash, fresh fish and chips and real sticky toffee pudding. Restaurants and bars need to have a good mix of healthy and hearty meals to help give people more choice so as they don't continue to eat a healthy balanced diet for five days - only to ruin it by overindulging every weekend."

Well over half of all northerners taking part in the survey blamed their weighty problems on the limited choice on offer throughout local bars and restaurants, with 48% finding eating out often very limiting due to their dietary requirements. Almost half of people from the North West admitted actively looking for menus that included either local, organic and Fair-trade produce as well as gluten free dishes. However despite almost 90% of northerners believing that as a nation we are far more conscientious about what we put inside our bodies, the survey showed that over 20% of parents with young children end up eating at 'unhealthier' restaurants just to keep their kids happy.

A spokesman for the British Dietary Association commented with interest on the findings from The Slug and Lettuce survey:- "Having a treat at the weekend is fine, and may help people to stick to their diet for longer, but the binge eating culture is worrying. Weight can vary by a small amount from day to day, but losing and then gaining weight in such short periods of time on such a consistent basis COULD have long term repercussions for the UK's health."

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