Families with obese children are being taken to supermarkets for lessons on buying healthy food – at the taxpayers’ expense. The trips are being offered free to people in deprived parts of Manchester. They are part of a ‘healthy lifestyle’ programme that would normally cost £400. But they are being offered free to dozens of families in Wythenshawe, Gorton and Harpurhey.
A total of 30 families, who must have an overweight child between seven and 13, are expected to sign up – meaning a total bill of £12,000. Bosses say the 10-week course will help families to become fitter, healthier and happier. Participants will take part in workshops to learn about nutrition and how to maintain a balanced diet.
Parents will be told to set weight-loss goals, while their children are put through their paces in games. The families will then be taken on tours of local supermarkets where children will be encouraged to ‘turn detective’ and investigate the contents of food products from their labels.
Families will be urged to ditch junk food for fruit and vegetables – and programme bosses are confident it will help to cut obesity. Nearly one in four adults in Greater Manchester is obese. Forecasts predict that more than 1.7m men and women in Greater Manchester will be overweight by 2020.