Enjoy healthy eating is message for Bradford's new anti-obesity drive

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Representatives from all seven cities, including Bradford, were at the meeting in Barcelona Representatives from all seven cities, including Bradford, were at the meeting in Barcelona

AN AMBITIOUS project to tackle obesity in Bradford will encourage people to enjoy eating healthy food, rather than lecturing people on what they shouldn't do.

We Love Eating is part of a Europe-wide campaign to encourage healthy living that will begin later this year.

The Telegraph & Argus reported earlier this month that Bradford was one of seven European cities, and the only in the UK, chosen to pilot the project.

In Bradford the European Commission-funded scheme will be run by Born In Bradford and Shipley based HALE, and representatives of the two groups have travelled to Barcelona to take part in talks with representatives of the other countries in preparation of September's launch.

Rather than reel off things people should not eat and taking a medical approach like many healthy living campaigns, the 12-month project will instead try to change people's mindset, and "create excitement about being healthy".

It will encourage families to to shop for and cook healthy together in a bid to change the mindset away from eating takeaways and ready meals around the TV and to balanced meals around the dining table.

Other messages that will be pushed include drinking more water, getting people involved in more exercise and encouraging people to eat a wider range of fruit and veg.

The three main groups being targeted by the first stage of the campaign are the under 16s, pregnant women and the over 60s.

In the next month people in those groups will be asked to fill out lifestyle surveys to help inform the project, and it is hoped that at least 600 people will take part.

There will then be an international event in September to mark the start of the project, with a similar event planned to be held in Bradford city centre.

Techniques, and recipes for healthy meals, will be shared between the different cities during the year.

Bradford was chosen because of its high levels of obesity and its ethnic mix, and the project will also involve other health-based charities and projects within the district.

Frances Holling, of HALE, who attended the meeting in Barcelona, and said: "It was great to see the vision of the campaign and everyone was giving great feedback about it. It was a good opportunity to network with people from the other European cities. There will be healthy recipes from all the different countries involved and it will be really nice to share this information between the different countries."

Other cities involved are Granollers in Spain, Poznan in Poland, Roncq in France, Banska Bysrica in Slovakia, Culj-Napoca in Romania and Deventer in the Netherlands.

After the 12 months, findings of the project could be used to develop a Europe-wide healthy living policy as well as improving things in Bradford.

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