Alphega Pharmacy is launching a new family-based programme, 'Growing Healthy', to help tackle the serious issue of childhood obesity.
Growing Healthy will be piloted in six pharmacies from October 2016, with a further roll out expected in 2017 following an initial evaluation.
Consisting of 12 consultations over a six-month period, the programme uses interactive, child focussed activities such as jigsaws and card games, combined with motivational interviewing techniques, to support families to identify their unhealthy habits and choose healthier alternatives.
Although primarily aimed at families who have overweight children, Growing Healthy is suitable for any family with a child aged four to 12 years old.
Currently around one-third of children leave primary school overweight or obese. The National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) is carried out in schools with children in England who are in reception or year six and parents of overweight or obese children are informed. However, support varies by locality and families in some areas have very limited options.