START is a public health campaign from safefood, the Departments of Health in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Healthy Ireland, the Health Service Executive and the Public Health Agency.
Children are becoming overweight earlier and earlier, now about 6% of three year olds are clinically obese. As a child being overweight can cause joint and breathing problems, and psychological problems such low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Most worryingly, if you are obese as a child you are more likely to be obese as an adult which leads to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
The START campaign aims to support families to take small steps to eating healthier food and becoming more active.
In developing the campaign, they have talked to parents, health professionals, parenting experts and policy makers to develop tools and support for parents. The campaign comes from an understanding that life is busy and families have a lot going on. It aims to provide practical support and information to help parents.
It is not about perfect parenting but about achieving one daily win and being proud of our efforts as parents to help our children on the way to a healthier life.
The START campaign looks at seven ways that can help maintain a healthy weight for our children:
- Eat fewer treat foods
- Drink water and milk as regular drinks
- Give the right portion size for children
- Eat more fruit or vegetables.
- Be more physically active
- Limit screen-time
- Increase sleep-time
To enter just tell us what small step(s) you have taken for your child’s healthier life and fill in your contact details on our form below. We’ll be in touch by email with the lucky winner after the closing date of Sunday 13th November 2022.