Clubs in North West England set to help kids Give Up Loving Pop this summer

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Clubs in North West England set to help kids Give Up Loving Pop this summer

Community coaches from professional football clubs in Lancashire will deliver high-sugar drinks education to school children as part of a new campaign to tackle overweight, obesity and poor oral health in the region.

Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) Public Health department has teamed up with Healthy Stadia and our food and nutrition partner Food Active to implement a school-based campaign to help children learn more about the short- and long-term impacts of drinking sugary drinks.

The campaign – Give Up Loving Pop or GULP – will see community coaches from Preston North End, Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley deliver a series of sessions in primary schools, and challenge children to cut back on sugary drinks for 21 days.

Using the power of sport, and the clubs’ badges, community coaches will raise awareness of the health harms of sugary drinks, familiarise children with reading and understanding food and drink labels, and educate them on the benefits of drinking water in terms of educational attainment and sporting performance.

Each session is composed of a short classroom-based introduction to a topic followed by a 30-minute physical activity session, with health-promoting messages delivered through games and activities helping to embed healthy behaviours.

The project was commissioned in response to data from the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) in 2016/17 that found a total of 7,262 reception and Year-6 age children from across Lancashire were living with excess weight.

At a district level Burnley (25.6%), Hyndburn (27.2%), Lancaster (26.7%) and West Lancashire (26.8%) were all found to have a significantly higher prevalence of reception age children (age 4-5) with excess weight than England.

In terms of oral health, 32% of Lancashire-12 area’s five-year-olds had experience of dental decay with one or more teeth that were decayed to dentinal level, extracted or filled because of caries; this was significantly higher than the England average of 24.7%.

Preston has the highest rate of children aged 10 and under needing to be admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic. For every 100,000 children, 1,415 will go into hospital.

The delivery of sessions at Key Stage 2 by community coaches will be part of a broader campaign in Lancashire to help primary school children, secondary school children and families cut back on sugary drinks during the summer months. For more information about Give Up Loving Pop visit their website, or email 

Michael Viggars

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