improved knowledge about food and activity for under 5s and the whole family
Over the past 8 years, HENRY has established a partnership with local public health departments, NHS trusts and children’s services across England and Wales that includes:
Royal Society for Public Health-accredited training for practitioners working with young families
preventive group programmes to help parents adopt a healthier family lifestyle
targeted one-to-one and group programmes for families of children at greater risk of obesity or already overweight
community engagement and peer support
Over 12,000 practitioners have been trained and 8,000 parents have taken part in family programmes. There is a 98% approval rating of the programmes – with parents rating them as good (21%) or great (77%). 93% of families were leading healthy or very healthy lifestyles by the end of the programmes compared to 21% at the start. By the end of the programme 42% of children in participating families were eating fruit and vegetables 5 times a day compared to 21% at the start and 95% of practitioners say the HENRY training met or exceeded their expectations.
Programmes have resulted in positive changes:
increased consumption of fruit, vegetables and water
reduced consumption of foods high in fat and/or sugar such as cakes, biscuits and chocolate, as well as sugary drinks, for both adults and children
more frequent family mealtimes
reduced screen time
increased physical activity for the whole family
In Leeds, where HENRY is part of the city-wide obesity strategy and delivered in children’s centres across the city, obesity rates at reception stage have fallen from 10.3% to 8.7% over a 7-year period. The national trends have remained almost static. The gap between obesity rates at age 5 in the least deprived and most deprived areas of Leeds is narrowing, with obesity rates dropping from 13.8% to 9.7% in the most deprived areas over the last 5 years.