YOUNGSTERS taking part in a pioneering weight loss project in South Yorkshire were kept on track thanks to an extra programme during the school holidays.
Shine introduced the pilot scheme over half term after discovering many young people signed up to their weight management programme lost their way with free time on their hands.
The project saw 16 young people aged between 10 and 17 attend a day camp where all their meals were provided.
There was also a first aid study course, sports and exercise sessions and a dancing class for them to take part in.
They were then sent home with a snack for the evening, but were not allowed to eat anything other than meals monitored and provided by Shine staff, with portions calculated according to age, gender and size of the child.
The results saw the 16 youngsters lose a total of six stone 2lbs in just five days - with an average loss of 5lbs each.
Shine project leader Kath Sharman said: “Every time we have a break, whether it be half term, Easter, Christmas, we find the youngster normally put on between 2lbs and 7lbs each.
“When we asked them why, they said it was because they were bored, or they didn’t have the confidence to get out and about doing things on their own. That’s why we decided to set up these day camps where we provided all the meals with the help of a nutritionist.
“When these meals were combined with the activities we achieved some amazing results.”
Sharon Vanes, whose 12-year-old daughter Courtney took part, said it was a brilliant idea.
Courtney, a pupil at Meadowhead School, lost 6lbs 3oz over the course of the week - and arrived home each day armed with ideas for how to continue the healthy eating into the future.
Sharon, from Gleadless, said: “The holidays are always harder because they just want to stay in bed or play on their computer games.
“Other than that, they’re asking to be taken to McDonald’s or to the cinema - places where there is always food involved. That’s why this project was such a good idea.
“She’s absolutely over the moon with the weight loss.”
Ibby Driver, from Aughton, Rotherham, also took part in the project and lost 6lbs 8oz.
The 15-year-old Brinsworth School pupil said: “The holidays area always a problem because there’s nothing to do, and when you’re bored you tend to eat.
“But this kept me busy at the same time as teaching me about healthy eating. I’m thrilled with the results - it’s my prom coming up in a few weeks and it’s helping me to get towards looking good in my dress!”
Tom Mynors lost 7.5 lbs and said he had found the week very useful.
The 16-year-old added: “I wanted to do the week to revise my portion sizes and take more control over what I was eating and get fitter.
“I now understand the right portions for my meals and have more energy. This week will make it easier to continue on my new healthy eating plan.”
n Kath is currently recruiting for the next 12-week Shine weight management prog-ramme which begins in April.
Youngsters must be aged between 10 and 17 and be classed as morbidly obese. The first half of the programme focuses on healthy eating and nutrition, while the second works to look at the psychology of why a child is over-eating, addressing confidence levels and issues such as anxiety and depression.
Call Kath on 07837 858801.