Support group Alphega Pharmacy has launched a weight-loss programme for primary school children and their families.
The Growing Healthy service will target overweight children aged between four and 12 by encouraging exercise and helping their families plan healthy meals, Alphega pharmacist consultant Neil Scobie announced at the network’s UK conference in Telford last week (May 15).
A pilot of the service will be launched in September. It will focus on family dynamics and how this affects eating habits. Parents are encouraged to attend up to 12 consultations over a six-month period, as are other members of the family.
Not limited to overweight children
The initiative will be available to all families with children aged between four and 12, not just those who are overweight, Mr Scobie stressed.
“It’s not necessarily expected that children will experience significant weight loss through the course of the programme but if healthy habits become normal, everyday habits – this is known to reduce the risks to the child in the long run,” Mr Scobie said.
Rather than just encouraging better diet and exercise, Growing Healthy will focus on “feeling good”, he added.
Fee not decided
Alphega recommends that pharmacists charge for the service, and will suggest a fee once it has been able to determine the success of the pilot.