Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Changing Lives Through Sport

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Foundation looking to play their part in reducing obesity levels in Leeds
11 October 2017, 2:56
By Dan Phillis
As the World Obesity Federation marks its third annual World Obesity Day today by encouraging governments, local councils and health service providers to raise awareness and invest in more preventative measures to tackle the growing obesity epidemic, Leeds Rhinos Foundation is looking to continue to play their part in reducing the risk of obesity in adults and children in Leeds.
News reports across the globe highlight the current research trends that show that by 2025 a projected 2.7 billion adults will be overweight or classed as obese with the annual global health care cost estimated to reach $1.2 trillion.

Studies also show that child and teenage obesity levels have risen ten-fold in the last four decades, meaning 124m boys and girls around the globe are overweight which equates to one in every 10 young people aged five to 19 in the UK.

To help reduce this trend, Leeds Rhinos Foundation is working with Leeds city council on a number of initiatives throughout the year to raise awareness of the problem and signpost people to services in the city, which will see the charity support the One You Leeds campaign this month to encourage people to move more, eat well, drink less alcohol and be smoke free.

Alongside the support of awareness campaigns, the charity is working in over 100 schools in the city delivering physical activity sessions to encourage people of all abilities and backgrounds to engage with sport from an early age with clear healthy lifestyle messages delivered in assemblies throughout the year.

Community Manager Gareth Cook said:

"Our growing school sports offer in the city now gives us the chance to work with over 30,000 children in the city, many of which will be able to benefit from our healthy lifestyle messages during the year in lessons but also with our themed assembly using the role models of the Leeds Rhinos to inspire the children to be healthy.

"Leeds Rhinos Foundation staff also encourage pupils to discover physical activity through tailored dance and multi-sport lessons that give every child a platform to enjoy sport with a focus on the fundamentals of movement and enjoyment which they can carry into later life, so this is very important."

Leeds Rhinos Foundation's Healthy Lifestyles team is also working to reduce the growing need to educate people on the impact that being overweight can have on long and short-term health by offering a free Try Club Health Management programme in partnership with Leeds Public Health.

Since starting in 2016, the programme has provided diet and exercise advice to over 60 adults who have BMI of over 25 providing the environment for men to get on track to pursuing a healthier lifestyle.

From programmes running since the start of the year, groups taking place at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and at satellite groups at East and West Leeds rugby clubs have lost a combined weight of 413.4lbs and have picked up regular physical activity upon completion of the group as part of the legacy.

Health Improvement Officer at Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Laura Buckle said:

"The growing prevalence of obesity in children and young adults we are seeing is showing more adults now at risk of, or already affected by a number of illness such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer, such as breast and colon, so it is important that charities like ours support our local government to try and engage more people in taking preventative measures.

"Our health programmes are showing some encouraging results in terms of weight loss but also attitudes towards the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet, so we are making inroads to the problem but there is a long way to go still."

For more information on Leeds Rhinos Foundation's Health programmes visit www.leedsrhinosfoundation.org
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