Overweight families to be offered £400 shopping lessons

It seems the many schemes and campaigns aimed at tackling obesity levels in the UK are still failing to persuade us to eat more healthily. So now health officials have come up with a new initiative - shopping lessons.

Shopping lessons for obese families
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The lessons, run by social enterprise group Mind, Exercise, Nutrition... Do It! (MEND), are being aimed at adults with overweight children who are living in deprived areas of Greater Manchester.

Officials expect 30 families, who must have an obese child aged between seven and 13, to sign up for the 10-week course which will advise on proper nutrition and healthy eating.

Children will engage in games and activities to help them understand about maintaining a balanced diet, while health officials will accompany adults to their local supermarkets in a bid to persuade families to swap sugary, fatty food for fresh fruit and veg.

Daniel Brown, from MEND, told The Mirror: "We all lead such hectic lives that eating healthily can sometimes drop off the priority list. Kids love the fun activities and games, while the parents tell us that they enjoy learning about healthy eating and swapping tips with other parents."

The £400-per-family courses are funded by the NHS and city council but ultimately that means the cost will be met by taxpayers and Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said there are "serious questions" about the value of the campaign.

However, a spokesperson for NHS Manchester explained: "We want to embed healthy lifestyles in young people to reduce their risk of ill-health in later life. We can help the whole family make realistic lifestyle changes."

What do you think? A worthwhile scheme or a waste of taxpayers' money? Leave your comments below...