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Slim down at the pool

PUBLISHED: 17:55 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 11 August 2010

ALL UNDER 18s in Barking and Dagenham are to get free swimming sessions as part of a £1 million campaign to cut obesity. Health bosses hope the scheme will reduce health problems by getting youngsters off the couch and into the pool. Currently rates of ph

ALL UNDER 18s in Barking and Dagenham are to get free swimming sessions as part of a £1 million campaign to cut obesity.

Health bosses hope the scheme will reduce health problems by getting youngsters off the couch and into the pool.

Currently rates of physical activity in Barking and Dagenham are the lowest in London and the third worst in Britain. Half of residents never exercise at all.

This contributes directly to obesity rates, which are consistently among the highest in the country.

Phase one of the plan, masterminded by Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust (PCT), includes free out-of-school hours swimming for under 18s.

Schools will get free pool time and subsidised tuition during term time. Free mother and toddler sessions will allow children to learn to swim as early as possible.

Phase two will see the introduction of a youth access card, similar to an Oyster Card, allowing children to get easier access to leisure facilities.

The final phase will see an effort to increase the number of pupils taking free and healthy school meals, with the aim of ensuring that every child eats at least one healthy meal a day.


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