It’s important for a child to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their overall health and wellbeing. A large part of a child’s lifestyle is their nutritional choices which will impact whether they are a healthy weight or not. 

A child will find it easier to manage their weight in later life and has a better chance of avoiding a variety of health conditions if they maintain a healthy weight now. 

Many children in the UK struggle with their weight. In fact, one in every five children aged ten to eleven is obese; and one in ten young people in the UK, aged between five and 19, is obese

How can we help?

We offer a children’s healthy lifestyle programme for all school-aged children throughout Essex.

Our Child Health Improvement Sessions (C.H.I.M.P.S) offers a variety of services to families with children without a healthy BMI.

The service is designed to help and empower children and their families to make small changes that will improve their BMI and long-term health and wellbeing.

What’s involved in the programme?

It’s a six-week programme that you and your child will complete together. 

To help to manage your child’s weight and allow them to make healthier choices, each week you’ll tackle a different behaviour change.

The weekly topics are as follows:

Week 1 – Introduction and Healthy breakfasts.

Week 2 – The Eatwell guide and me-sized meals.

Week 3 – Sugar and fat swaps.

Week 4 – Food Label reading.

Week 5 – Activity vs inactivity.

Week 6 – Eating outside of the home and course review.

The programme will also cover the following topics: 

  • Healthy breakfasts & behaviour change.
  • The Eatwell Plate & portion sizes.
  • Fat & sugar swaps.
  • Food label reading.
  • Physical activity & sedentary behaviour.

How do you know if your child is overweight?

Detecting whether your child is obese can be difficult. So much so that Consultant paediatrician Prof Mary Rudolf, who advises the government on obesity, says many parents would not know that "a healthy 10-year-old's ribs should be clearly visible - many parents would consider that such a child was quite underweight".

The most commonly used method to determine whether a person is overweight is by using a body mass index (BMI) calculator. A BMI measures whether you’re a healthy weight for your weight and height.

You can use the NHS BMI healthy weight calculator to work out your child’s score or please contact your doctor for further advice if you are unsure. 


Get in touch

If you would like to register your interest, speak to someone about any of our services, or to help you understand more about your health needs, prioritise them and find the right support for you, then please contact us on 0300 303 9988 or email provide.essexwellbeing@nhs.net to talk to one of our friendly team members.