EFFORTS being made to tackle childhood obesity in Burton and South Derbyshire look set to have an unlikely helping hand – Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
A raft of Disney characters will form part of a campaign in the area to encourage children to meet the minimum requirement of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise they need every day this summer.
This comes after recent Public Health England figures showed that 71.6 per cent of people are carrying excess weight in Burton and 68.4 per cent in South Derbyshire – well above the national average of 64 per cent.
Disney is providing its characters to feature in special Change4Life animations that have been designed to inspire children in both areas to undertake extra activities every day.
Ann Hoskins, director for children, young people and families at Public Health England (PHE), said: “We hope this alliance will be a long-term strategic collaboration, with the aim of getting families eating better and moving more.
“We at PHE understand that it can be hard for parents to find things to keep the family busy and entertained during the school holidays.
“This campaign will, with help from Disney, provide children and families with everything they need to have an active and fun summer.”
Obesity can cause a range of health problems in children, including Type 2 diabetes, and the health risks that are associated with being overweight can carry through to adult life.
Marianthi O’Dwyer, vice president and head of living well at the Walt Disney Company, said: “Imagine having your children’s favourite characters like Mickey Mouse, Sulley or Olaf on hand to inspire them to get active, that’s the vision for the summer campaign.
“This partnership is about bringing those stories to life through simple, fun activities to help children get the daily exercise they need.”
More information is available by visiting www.nhs.uk/Change4Life