New campaign launches to give families a healthier Start4Life
Over three hundred of the 1,500 babies likely to be born this New Year’s day could be overweight or obese by the time they start school unless action is taken. The revelation comes as Start4Life - a new campaign to support pregnant women and parents of babies to give their baby a healthier start in life – launches today.
The campaign is part of Change4Life, the mass movement which launched a year ago and which is helping families ‘eat well, move more and live longer’.
Start4Life centres around six ‘building blocks’, based on the latest infant health research, to help parents know what’s right for their baby.
- mum's milk - why breast milk is better for both mum and baby;
- everyday counts – information about how each day of breastfeeding makes a difference to babies’ health;
- no rush to mush - the Start4Life banana challenge shows the 3 signs to look out for that together show babies are ready to start on solid foods - if your baby is able to sit up with their head steady, reach out, grab a finger-sized piece of peeled, ripe banana, and eat some of it all by themselves, they are ready!;
- taste for life – advice on how giving babies a variety of food now, can stop them turning into a fussy eater later;
- sweet as they are – tips on how to avoid giving babies a sweet tooth; and
- baby moves – guidance on why it's important for all little ones to be lively and active.
A short film showing one of the famous Change4Life plasticine characters being moulded by a mum will be screened in antenatal clinics and on Baby TV to raise awareness of the campaign.
Public Health Minister, Gillian Merron said:
“Unless we take action, 1 in 5 babies likely to be born this New Year’s day could be obese by the time they start school.
“What happens in the first years of a baby’s life has a big effect on how healthy they are in the future.
“Despite recent encouraging statistics which show that childhood obesity may be levelling off, obesity levels are still too high and it is important we keep the momentum going.
“That is why the Government is today launching its Start4Life campaign, which will support pregnant women and parents of babies give their families a ‘good start for a healthier life’.”
Notes to editors
8. Data published on 3rd November 2009 by the National Heart forum suggested the rapid rise in child obesity may be levelling off http://www.heartforum.org.uk/News_Media_pressreleases_ObesityLevellingOff_NewData.aspx
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