Parents in Oxfordshire are set to benefit from a new scheme aiming to tackle childhood obesity in the county. The new Reach4Health (Rethink Eating and Activity for Child Health) service is a free weight management service for four to 16-year-olds and will be launched in Oxford and Banbury this Saturday (7 September).

Commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council, the service will be delivered by Oxford Health Foundation NHS Trust’s School Health Nursing service, who have been measuring children in reception and year six as part of the National Childhood Measurement Programme (NCMP) for seven years.

Providing the opportunity to explore healthy eating and activity, the emphasis of Reach4Health will be on having fun and will include group sessions with activities, as well as one-to-one support. School nurses will also be able to offer on-going support to help families make healthy changes for life.

Tackling childhood obesity is a priority for Oxfordshire County Council. Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, the council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and the Voluntary Sector said:  “The results of the NCMP have shown that in Oxfordshire seven per cent of children in reception classes (4 – 5 years) and nearly 16 per cent of children in year 6 (10 – 11 years) are clinically obese.

“Reducing this is key to a thriving Oxfordshire – we know that overweight and obese children are more likely to become obese adults and children with obese parents are also more at risk. If the trend continues children are likely to develop health problems earlier, including long term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart and liver disease.”

The group sessions will be held in a variety of locations countywide during the year with our first groups starting in Oxford and Banbury in September. Information can be found can be found at  or by contacting Margaret Fallon (Weight Management Service Lead) by email:  or call or text: 07824 49 87 44.

Further information about Reach4Health and many other health subjects will be available by visiting the School Health Nurse stands at:

Leys Fair – Saturday  7 September 2013 at Blackbird Leys Park  Oxford- 12-4pm

Sport, Health and Wellbeing  – Saturday 7 September 2013 at the Spiceball Leisure Centre Banbury.