Childhood health

The Great Weight Debate logo

We want to help every child have the best start in life by making it as easy as possible for them to eat healthily and take part in physical activity.

Preventing and tackling childhood obesity is a priority for the council due to the huge impact it can have throughout a person’s life.

We have invested in services to help combat childhood obesity to help increase the number of children who leave primary school with a healthy weight.

1. Classes for residents

The council funds free interactive classes to help you give your children the best start in life and make healthy changes to your family’s lifestyle.

MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!) classes help you and your child become more active and healthier, and reach or maintain a healthier weight after school or at weekends.

The programme was devised by Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, University College London to reduce global childhood overweight and obesity levels.


New mums and their babies

A fun and interactive post-natal weight management programme for new mums incorporating energy boosting workouts and great nutrition tips to establish healthy habits for life. For post-natal women with a baby aged up to 2 years old. Takes place once a week for 1.5 hours, for 6 weeks.

Children aged 2 to 5

Activities linked to nutrition, active play or behaviour change including healthy family habits, portion sizes, reading food labels, food exposure techniques and reducing time looking at screens. Takes place once a week for one hour, for 6 weeks.

Children aged 5 to 7

Activities linked to nutrition, active play or behaviour change including understanding fats and sugars, goal-setting and rewards. For children aged 5 to 7 who are above a healthy weight. Takes place once a week for one and three quarter hours, for 10 weeks.

Children aged 7 to 13

Activities linked to nutrition, physical activity or behaviour change including learning to read food labels, an interactive supermarket tour and goal-setting. For children aged 7 to 13 years who are above a healthy weight, and their parents or carers. Takes place twice a week for 2 hours, for 10 weeks. 

Teenagers aged 13 to 18

Bespoke sessions for young people aged 13 to 18 who are above a healthy weight based on their needs.

Find out more about these classes

Book now

Autumn classes start in September and run for 6 or 10 weeks.

View our 2017 timetable

Call 020 3795 9346 to book or speak to your GP who can refer you.


2. Vitamins and healthy food vouchers

To find out about the distribution of free vitamins and vouchers to spend on healthy foods, please visit the Healthy Start website

3. Oral health

The council promotes good oral health to residents and supports organisations in Westminster to encourage good oral health.

If you're concerned about yours or your child's oral health please visit your local dentist.

Find out more tips to maintain your dental health

4. Schools and early years organisations

Schools and early years organisations are supported to improve the health and wellbeing of their children by the Healthy Schools Partnership.

The council is working with 44 schools through this Healthy Schools programme. 22 nurseries and Children’s Centres are taking part in our Healthy Early Years Partnership and:

  • 28 schools have achieved a Healthy Schools bronze award
  • 11 schools have achieved silver
  • 4 schools have achieved gold

MEND in Schools is an intensive programme of activities for primary schools whose pupils have a higher risk of obesity involving all children in years 1 and 4 as well as their parents.

School nursing teams help young people make the best possible start in life by monitoring their health and promoting good health habits from an early age. 

5. Health promotion

The below teams and programmes promote healthy living for children aged 0 to 5.

Health visiting teams work with mothers, their families and community groups to promote the health and wellbeing of children from the antenatal period until the child is 5. 

The Family Nurse Partnership is a voluntary programme of home visits for young mothers having their first baby which focus on the future health and wellbeing of children.

6. Training for professionals

MEND offers a rolling programme of training for professionals who work with children to support them and their families to achieve positive healthy eating and physical activity habits.

The Family Healthy Weight Care Pathways is an aid for healthcare professionals and those who work with children to provide obesity prevention and weight management support to those aged 19 and under in Westminster.

7. Improving the environment

The council’s Public Health team works with other council departments to change the environment in Westminster to help make healthy and easy choices for residents.

Work so far has included the initiation of food-growing schemes in housing estates and schools, the development of physical activity opportunities across the borough and work with food businesses to improve the nutritional value of their food.

8. Vitality Westminster Mile

Take part in the Vitality Westminster Mile which has races for a wide range of ages and abilities.

9. Sport and leisure

Free swimming

Enjoy free swimming plus other sports discounts for under 19s living or studying in Westminster with an ActiveWestminster card.

Neighbourhood Sports Programme

The Neighbourhood Sports Programme offers over 100 hours of free sports every week for under 19s. Call 020 7641 2012 or email for details.

Leisure centres

Visit one of our leisure centres.

​Sports activities

Find sports activities near you

Find sport and physical activity for young people

10. Great Weight Debate

As part of the Great Weight Debate, take our survey to let us know how we can help you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

11. Healthier Catering Commitment

Find out more about the Healthier Catering Commitment.


12. Further information

For more information on how your family can be healthier and happier, visit the Change4Life website.

To cut back on sugar, visit Change4Life’s Sugar Smart website.

Last updated: 26 April 2017
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