Government launches healthy living initiative

The government today launched the Healthy Living Initiative, aimed at enabling and teaching families to adopt healthier lifestyles.

The initiative will tackle a range of problematic issues faced by families, laid out by the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research Centre in its recent report.

Issues the centre highlighted include a lack of parental awareness of health risks associated with being overweight, a belief that healthy living is too difficult and pressures which undermine healthy food choices.

Caroline Flint, public health minister, said: "While we have been successful in raising awareness of the importance of good nutrition and exercise, putting that awareness into action has proved more difficult for some families.

"We know young families are aware of the five a day message but are not necessarily eating five a day."

One scheme which will form part of the initiative is Top Tips for Top Mums, launched by Patsy Palmer.

Ms Palmer said: "It's really important that we encourage our children to enjoy eating more fruit and veg but I understand the problems us mums face, as kids can be so fussy when it comes to eating healthy food."

Dr Frankie Phillips, from the British Dietetic Association, offered some advice to all generations: "To get the best benefit from the nutrients packed into fruit and veg, everyone should aim for a variety of different types and colours every day."

The initiative and its projects will be rolled out over the coming year.

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