Birmingham’s childhood obesity crisis has been in the news again this week, as Birmingham’s Lord Mayor came under fire for agreeing to open a new fast food restaurant near a school.
In 2012 one in four school children at Year Six age in Birmingham were classified as obese. It’s a shocking statistic, and one that Birmingham City Council is already beginning to tackle head-on, with projects such as the Startwell project.
Gateway’s Health Trainers don’t work directly with children, but we can see from our Impact Assessment App that the advice and support they give to their adult clients can have a much wider impact, affecting partners and other family members too.
In fact, the Health Trainers’ work supports the first key message of the Startwell project, which encourages parents to “Be a role model for your child”. We know that when one person makes a lifestyle change – altering their eating habits, or exercising more – that change will often influence and inspire a whole household!
Sometimes, as these statements from our App show, the influence on other family members is direct. For example, many people decide that they will join a weight loss group with their partner or another family member:
I am joining Slimming World as this is very close to where I live. My husband has also just joined. Can’t wait to get started now. Thank you for your advice and help today it means that we can start making changes for us and our children.
So far I lost 2 stone 7 pounds at Slimming World. My partner is not far behind me, she lost 2 stone. So yes very pleased, we both pay now to go. The 12 weeks free off the health trainer really helped us. We enjoy going for a walk now with our two children. We both have more energy to do this.
I want to join Slimming world with my daughter. My Health trainer has set this up for me to join next week. Thank you this will help the both of us keep motivated.
For those who live in a household where others do the cooking, it’s hard to make changes unless the whole family is on board. So, like Kevin, they go home and get involved.
I need to lose 8lbs. I’m going to walk more and get involved with the cooking.
Health Trainers encourage their clients to get everyone involved when they begin their journey towards better health. It not only helps the client to know that their family and friends are behind them, supporting their goals, but it can help to influence the wider family to live more healthily.
Often, the people we work with will report back to us that, as a result of their own new lifestyle choices, their partner and children have started making – and enjoying! – healthy changes.
People have been saying I look like I have lost weight. I have been having homemade fruit smoothies with the children and I walk brisk when I’m taking them out them out to the park.
I have changed my eating habits – my health trainer advised me to cut out my takeaways and eat fruit and vegetables. Today my weigh-in was 15lbs lost. I feel so happy. My clothes are looser, I’ve got more energy. My kids are also eating better.
In this video, Marlene talks about losing weight with the help of her Health Trainer, Richard. But she also talks about the changes it has made to her family’s shopping and eating habits. Although only she is seeing Richard, she uses the word “we” to talk about the difference it’s made.