Barnsley joins the fight to improve children’s health and reduce obesity with a few simple swaps

We’re supporting a new Childhood Nutrition Campaign launched today by The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) set to improve children’s nutrition, health and reduce childhood obesity. 

The latest Better Health Campaign aims to help and influence parents purchasing decisions through the use of the free NHS Food Scanner app. The dedicated app is the ideal health hack for families to help them swap food and drink higher in sugar, saturated fat, and salt for healthier alternatives.  

The app comes off the back of a record rise in obesity amongst children over the last school year with the latest data from the National Childhood Measurement Programme highlighting that one in four children aged four to five are overweight or obese, whilst four in ten children aged 10-11 are now overweight or obese.  

It’s also important to remember that it’s not just what’s on the outside - too much sugar and saturated fat can lead to serious diseases in the future. Too much salt can raise blood pressure increasing the risk of heart disease or suffering a stroke and too much sugar can lead to tooth decay. 

The app is free to download and easy to use – simply ‘scan, swipe, swap’. A quick scan of the product’s barcode brings the food label to life revealing the sugar, saturated fat and salt content of the product and if it’s a good choice. The app will also suggest healthier swaps from thousands of good choice foods and drinks available. The app can be used in-store or online and is a fun way to get all the family involved in making healthier choices.  

Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “We want everyone in Barnsley to have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good physical and mental health, so I’m really pleased to see we’re backing this campaign to improve the health of children and young people across the borough. 

“The app is a fabulous tool to help engage our younger generations who have digital mindsets. It’s crucial that we involve children from an early age to make sure they’re well informed and develop healthier habits to stay with them as they get older and pass on to their own children. 

“The latest national statistics about childhood obesity is alarming. It’s inevitable that a contributing factor will be a result of the pandemic which has increased screen time and limited physical activity. I’d urge you to download the app and get scanning, swiping and swapping to take control of your families health and wellbeing to create healthier, happier families in 2022.” 

For more food swap ideas, recipes and lots more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/healthier-families. 

Download the free NHS Food Scanner app today from the App Store or Google Play or search ‘Better Health Healthier Families’. 

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