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School pupils get top tips on keeping healthy

School pupils at John Kyrle High School have been helping NHS Herefordshire’s health improvement professionals deliver some important lessons to younger children about keeping fit and healthy.

Ashfield Park Primary School year five children visited John Kyrle High School last week for a day of Change4Life events.  Acting as ambassadors for healthy lifestyles, nine of the high school’s year seven pupils helped to deliver a series of 20 minute sessions focussing on the importance of a balanced diet and the dangers of hidden sugars, fats and salts.  They also got the chance to get up and about with hoola hoops, trampettes, relay races and balloon `keepy-uppies` outside; showing children what activities they can do at home to enable them to achieve 60 active minutes per day. In addition, family activity ideas for the long summer holidays were outlined in a special `games4life` summer adventure information pack.

Leah Wilson, health improvement practitioner with NHS Herefordshire, said:  “This was a fun day for everyone involved.  The Ashfield Park pupils got the chance to have a look around the school most of them will be going to in 2013, and the pupils at John Kyrle High School were able to see something of how health campaigns work and will hopefully spread the word to their peers through their  volunteering to be Change4Life ambassadors.

“In spite of all the media coverage about obesity and hidden fats, sugars and salts, children and adults are always surprised to learn just how much bad stuff is in everyday products.  For example, 39 grams of sugar in a can of coke, and 30 grams of sugar in a typical chocolate bar; that’s nearly 10 spoons of sugar each.

 “This was the first time we’ve recruited year seven pupils as volunteer ambassadors from a High School in this kind of road show approach and we are delighted it went so well.  Thanks to its success, we are planning to run more of these in the new term.”

Belinda Jones, healthy schools coordinator at Ashfield Park Primary School, said:  “We would really like to spread these messages within our whole school in the autumn, as part of a Change4Life week, to embed the overall message more firmly and hopefully this would include getting the parents involved as well.”