Sainsbury's announces a three-year partnership with the MEND Programme to roll out the UK's largest prevention and treatment programme for overweight and obese children and their families. This significant financial commitment is a direct result of the 'New Ideas for Health' meeting* organised by Sainsbury's in September where parents asked for help in their local communities.11-12-2006
Over the next three years Sainsbury's will donate over £3 million to MEND. This will directly benefit the health and wellbeing of 5,000 families and is the first national campaign of this scale sponsored by a private company.
Developed in 2001, MEND's mission has been to make a significant, measurable and sustained reduction to childhood overweight and obesity levels, currently a growing health epidemic. According to government figures, if programmes like MEND are not implemented, by 2020 at least 20% of all boys and 33% of all girls in the UK will be obese**.
MEND - Mind, Exercise, Nutrition?Do it! is a unique programme that tackles childhood obesity by involving the entire family in healthy eating and an active lifestyle programme. It has achieved long term and sustained benefits, and transformed the lives of overweight and obese children and their families.
More than 50 Sainsbury's Food Advisors across the UK are being trained to manage and lead the nutritional part of the MEND programmes. Colleagues from local stores can also volunteer as programme assistants.
The Youth Sport Trust is also supporting the campaign and will identify specialist sports colleges to deliver the exercise element of the courses.
The national partnership with Sainsbury's and the Youth Sport Trust will see 450 MEND Programmes rolled out over the three-year period. The campaign will begin with a pilot in January 2007 involving the following nine areas: West Yorkshire, Stockport, Newbury, Worcester, South West London, Nottingham, Hertfordshire, Upminster, Sheffield.
Paul Sacher, Research Director, MEND says: “Sainsbury's generous support to date, now expanded as part of its Active Kids' campaign, will enable MEND to play an important role in helping to tackle Britain's significant obesity problem. We are now able to meet the increasing demand for MEND and begin rolling out our programmes nationwide, helping to improve the lives of thousands of families."
Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury's Customer Director, said: “This is one of the most significant health issues we face and through our partnership with MEND we are able to help families and local communities in a very practical way."
Source - MEND Press Release