Swansea School Children Invited to Take Part in Health Survey
School children between the ages of 11-13 years in Swansea are being invited to participate in a health survey of children in Wales, being conducted by researchers at Swansea University's School of Medicine.
The survey looks at levels of fitness, fatness, activity, diet, cholesterol, as well as early indicators of diabetes or heart disease in school children. Each child is given an individual report giving the results of their 'health check' and recommendations of what they are doing well and what measures they could take to improve their health.
Bishop Gore School is the first School in Swansea to become involved in the health checks. Headmaster, Ryan Davies, said "Children’s health is of great importance and we are encouraging all Year 7 and 8 students to take part. We are delighted to be involved in this research".
Sixth formers at the school are also being asked to take part in designing future research to improve child health. After surveying Bishop Gore School, researchers will invite another three schools in Swansea to participate.
Says Dr. Sinead Brophy, Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine's Institute of Life Science and the research lead, "I would like to ask parents to encourage their children to take part in this survey. Findings from this survey will benefit the child, the school and will be used to develop new initiatives to improve health and reduce obesity among school children in Wales."
The survey comes to Swansea from Carmarthenshire, where 500 school children have already taken part. It will next move on to Cardiff in 2009.
So far, findings from Carmarthenshire show an overall improvement in fitness and activity levels over recent years. Adolescent girls are still, however, not participating in enough daily exercise and the eating habits of secondary school children remain poor.
The Health Survey of Children in Wales is funded by a grant from the Wales Office for Research and Development (WORD). The research is being conducted by Swansea University's School of Medicine along with the Africa Educational Trust in London in order to inform policy for all children.
School of Medicine