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Major Health Boost for Primary Pupils

November 07, 2007 10:08 AM

It is hoped that the classes will prove an important step on the road towards stemming the increase in childhood obesity.
Primary pupils across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are to receive a series of fun, interactive new lessons on the importance of choosing healthy food and taking proper physical activity.

The lessons are contained in a major new curriculum pack being launched on Wednesday, Nov 7 called ‘Your Body Matters; nourishing body and mind for an active life’ – believed to be the most comprehensive resource of its kind in the country.

The pack has been written and devised by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde in partnership with Glasgow City Council, and provides a 30 comprehensive lesson plan for P1-P7.

Its launch comes just a month after the Government published a report which claimed that almost 900,000 UK children under 11 are obese – a 50% increase on a decade ago.

The pack will now be sent out to every primary and additional support needs school in the Greater Glasgow & Clyde area.

Among its contents are simple activity sheets for pupils, a set of information sheets for teachers, posters and resource cards to ease delivery of key messages on diet, nutrition and physical activity, along with other related subjects.

· Impact of food trade on global health
· Food and the impact on the environment
· Special diets and religion
· Oral health
· Food hygiene and infection
· Where does food come from?
· Food labelling
· Body image and the media
· Physical activity
· Food groups and a healthy diet
· Balance of good health
The topics covered include:

Bailie Gordon Matheson, Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Education and Social Renewal, said: “It is vital that we enable pupils to better understand their own health and to have the skills and confidence to make informed healthy choices.

“If we want our young people to lead healthy lifestyles, we have to teach them not only what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, but also why it’s a good idea.

“This pack gives teachers the means to pass on the most relevant information to children at the most appropriate stage of their schooling.

“We believe Your Body Matters will have a significant impact in the health education arena, and will lead to healthier children, healthier families and, ultimately, a healthier Glasgow.”

Your Body Matters is fully in line with recognised national and local guidelines, including A Curriculum for Excellence and Hungry for Success. For Glasgow, it is linked to Glasgow’s Health, the framework for health education in Glasgow schools, which has been in city schools since 2001.

Among the contributors to its content were nutrition and oral health specialists at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow primary teachers and its Primary PE team, the city’s Active Schools management team and Direct and Care Services, which manages the school catering service in Glasgow.

“Obesity is a ticking time bomb in our society and one in five P7 children in Scotland are now classed as obese.
Dr Linda de Caestecker NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health, said: 

“This is why it has been so important for us to work closely with Glasgow City Council’s Direct and Care Services and Education Services departments to implement the school meal standards detailed in the Scottish Executive document “Hungry for Success.

“This positive partnership has also produced  the ‘Your Body Matters’ curriculum pack which will flag up the key messages in the classroom around healthy eating, oral health and physical activity.

“I have no doubts that this pack will be a useful teaching tool to help children make more informed choices about what they eat, and play an important part in improving health and wellbeing and tackling childhood obesity.”

Your Body Matters makes important links with physical activity, oral health and general education for personal and social development to provide a comprehensive teaching resource for schools.

The pack also directs and encourages schools to work with local partners, including the school catering service to foster healthy eating, physical activity and hygiene in the daily lives of children. In this respect it will make an important contribution to work currently being taken forward by schools to enable them to become health promoting schools.

Margaret Doran, Glasgow’s Executive Director for Education and Social Work Services, said: “This pack will be an excellent addition to the series of resources for health education in our schools.

“We know that children who eat healthy diets are better able to learn and do well at school. I very much look forward to seeing Your Body Matters as the core resource for teaching about healthy nutrition in primary schools.”


Detailed information on Your Body Matters for both teachers and pupils/parents will be contained in the Glasgow primary schools’ website, coolfuelkids.com.

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