YMCA gears up for second phase of obesity strategy
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YMCA gears up for second phase of obesity strategy

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YMCA England is looking for funding for the second stage of its Tackling Obesity Strategy.

Phase two of the project, which will focus on increasing physical activity, follows the Healthy Eating Project, which kicked off the three-phase strategy last year.

The strategy aims to tackle the health risks associated with the growing levels of obesity in England.

Designed to support local YMCAs, the Healthy Eating Project is currently being rolled out after a successful pilot scheme last year.

The scheme aims to go beyond the health and fitness arm of the charity, said YMCA England’s sport, health, exercise and fitness advisor, Alison Street. “We wanted to develop something that would sit alongside the services which already exist in the organisation,” she said.

The Healthy Eating project is being delivered through the YMCA’s training providers and housing and youth workers. More than 200 YMCA practitioners have already received training to help them deliver the scheme in their local communities.

Leaflets have been developed targeting older adults, infants and young children, young adults, black and ethnic groups and vegetarians. Practitioners use the leaflets to engage people in discussions about healthy eating and physical activity.

An evaluation of phase one revealed that overall awareness of the basic principals of eating five fruits and vegetables a day and the recommended daily physical activity, increased as a result of the project.

Further to this, 51 per cent of participants also indicated they intended to change their behaviour as a result of taking part in the project. Such intentions ranged from increasing physical activity to reducing the amount of fat intake.

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YMCA England is looking for funding for the second stage of its Tackling Obesity Strategy.
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