Swansea University launches new programme encouraging healthy lifestyles for local children

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Diabetes is rapidly becoming the biggest problem to people’s health around the world, with more people being diagnosed with the disease in Wales than ever before.

ENRICHSwansea University has launched a new project aimed at encouraging local children to eat a healthy diet, live an active life and manage a healthy body weight as they grow up.

The ENRICH program (Exercise and Nutrition Research in Child Health) has been set up by Swansea University’s Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre (A-STEM).

The programme is part of a €9 million study called PREVIEW. Operational in eight different universities worldwide, and with 2,500 people taking part, the study is investigating the importance of diet and physical activity for the prevention of Type-2 Diabetes.

Dr Masoumeh Minou and PhD student Nils Swindell at A-STEM have been instrumental in launching the ENRICH programme at Swansea University.

Dr Minou said: “With the help of local paediatricians, GPs and schools, we have recruited children who may be concerned about their risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes to participate in the programme.

“We have had two groups of children participating so far. These children take an active part in hands-on healthy food and snack preparation, and sharing experiences and ideas as they enjoy the reward of eating the healthy food.”

“We have had some really positive feedback and look forward to encouraging more children into healthy eating patterns and exercise through the programme.”

Comments from the children involved on the programme have included: “Through the programme, I have learnt how to eat healthily and was shocked how much sugar is in everyday foods. (Boy, 12 years old)

"When I was at school I would have a cake at every break time, now I have replaced it with a drink, usually water”. (Girl, 12 years old)

"The best thing about being on the programme is knowing that I can eat healthily and that I can lose weight". (Boy, 13 years old)

Nils Swindell said: “We would encourage anyone between 10 and 18 who may be concerned about their risk of developing Type-2 Diabetes to take part in this programme. Risk factors include: a family history of Type-2 Diabetes; being above a healthy weight and not getting enough exercise.”

To find out more, or to participate in the project, please contact Nils Swindell at Swansea University: Email: 835228@swansea.ac.uk. Telephone: 07444 324 147. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/enrich.swansea