Helping children to make healthy lifestyle choices
The proportion of children who are obese has doubled in England in the last ten years, and currently, one third of 10-11 year olds are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is associated with a range of health issues, as well as reduced self-esteem and quality of life. We still don’t fully understand, however, which approaches to improving the health of children work best, particularly if we want children and parents to be encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) is an innovative school-based programme, developed together with schools, parents and children, which uses drama-based activities to deliver healthy lifestyle messages to children. Throughout the programme we invite parents in to see the activities and create a supportive environment at home for healthy choices. Key to this programme are creative communication techniques and the building of supportive relationships.