London, UK (PRWEB) December 13, 2006
Sainsbury's announces a three-year partnership with the MEND Programme to roll out the UK's largest prevention and treatment programme for overweight and obese children and their families. This significant financial commitment is a direct result of the 'New Ideas for Health' meeting* organised by Sainsbury's in September where parents asked for help in their local communities.
Over the next three years Sainsbury's will donate over £3 million to MEND. This will directly benefit the health and wellbeing of 5,000 families and is the first national campaign of this scale sponsored by a private company.
Developed in 2001, MEND's mission has been to make a significant, measurable and sustained reduction to childhood overweight and obesity levels, currently a growing health epidemic. According to government figures, if programmes like MEND are not implemented, by 2020 at least 20% of all boys and 33% of all girls in the UK will be obese**.
MEND - Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it! is a unique programme that tackles childhood obesity by involving the entire family in healthy eating and an active lifestyle programme. It has achieved long term and sustained benefits, and transformed the lives of overweight and obese children and their families.
More than 50 Sainsbury's Food Advisors across the UK are being trained to manage and lead the nutritional part of the MEND programmes. Colleagues from local stores can also volunteer as programme assistants.
The Youth Sport Trust is also supporting the campaign and will identify specialist sports colleges to deliver the exercise element of the courses.
The national partnership with Sainsbury's and the Youth Sport Trust will see 450 MEND Programmes rolled out over the three-year period. The campaign will begin with a pilot in January 2007 involving the following nine areas: West Yorkshire, Stockport, Newbury, Worcester, South West London, Nottingham, Hertfordshire, Upminster, Sheffield.
Paul Sacher, Research Director, MEND says: "Sainsbury's generous support to date, now expanded as part of its Active Kids' campaign, will enable MEND to play an important role in helping to tackle Britain's significant obesity problem. We are now able to meet the increasing demand for MEND and begin rolling out our programmes nationwide, helping to improve the lives of thousands of families."
Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury's Customer Director, said: "This is one of the most significant health issues we face and through our partnership with MEND we are able to help families and local communities in a very practical way."
For press enquiries please contact:
Laura Jones T: +44 20 7695 3116 / Jess Armstrong T: +44 20 7695 7327 / Sarah Leaman T: +44 20 7695 6213
Ulla Stauch T:+44 870 609 1405
NOTES TO EDITORS
*'New Ideas for health' meeting was attended by Caroline Flint, public health minister and 100 health experts and parents to debate the barriers and issues to healthy eating and how to improve the nation's health.
**Department of Health, Choosing Health: Making healthy choices easier, 2004
About the MEND Programme
MEND Programme details are available on the programme's website: http://www.mendprogramme.org.
Leading experts have developed the MEND Programme over six years. Paul Sacher (BSc Med Hons RD), is a specialist dietitian at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), a Clinical Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH), the spokesperson for paediatric obesity for the British Dietetic Association and a trustee of the National Obesity Forum. Dr. Paul Chadwick (BSc MA DClin Psy), a clinical psychologist at the Health Behaviour Unit at University College London, is a recognised expert in the field of childhood obesity.
MEND has been researched in the form of Feasibility study, Large Pilot study and Large Randomised Controlled Trial under the auspices of the Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Paul Sacher from MEND will be talking at Westminster Briefing, 'Countdown to London 2012: How will the Games deliver for the country'
About Sainsbury's Active Kids
Sainsbury's Active Kids is a groundbreaking school sports initiative to encourage kids to take more exercise and eat healthily. Sainsbury's has donated £34million worth of sports equipment, kit and coaching to UK schools over the last 2 years through the scheme.
Customers earn one Active Kids voucher per £10 spent in-store and through Sainsbury's Online. To encourage healthy eating, customers earn extra vouchers on every £10 spent on fresh fruit and vegetables, and foods marked with the Sainsbury's healthy 'apple stamp', such as milk, pasta and fresh fish.
Sainsbury's Active Kids vouchers can then be donated to any school participating in the scheme and redeemed for over hundreds of different pieces of exciting sports equipment - everything from space hoppers, to skipping ropes, trampolines, climbing walls and cricket bats. Schools can also redeem Active Kids vouchers for coaching in unusual activities including street-dance, keep fit and taekwondo.
Youth Sports Trust
The Youth Sport Trust is a registered charity established in 1994 to build a brighter future for young people through sport. Its mission is to support the education and development of all young people through PE and Sport.
TOP Activity is the latest addition to the Youth Sport Trust's TOP Programmes, which are a progressive pathway of PE and sporting opportunities to improve and develop young people's sporting skills.