You're probably here because you received a letter saying that your child might be overweight. We know that can be scary, surprising, or upsetting. So we're here to explain why this letter was sent and what your options as a parent are now.
We've helped hundreds of families just like yours to build healthy habits and live happier lives.
The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is a government programme that aims to measure the height and weight of every child twice during primary school, once in Reception and once in Year 6.
These measures are used to calculate their BMI (body mass index), which is then compared to the healthy range for children of the same age, height, and sex.
You received a letter because your child’s weight is above the healthy range.
You can read more about the NCMP process and BMI calculations on the NHS website.
These BMI measurements are taken by trained professionals using carefully tested equipment. The results take age, gender, height and weight into account. So they’re usually a reliable measure of overall health.
Even professionals find it hard to tell if someone is a healthy weight just by looking at them. That’s why we use measures like BMI as an objective indicator of health, as well as other factors like activity levels, food choices, and happiness and wellbeing.
A high BMI is often linked to other physical health problems down the road, including heart health and mobility.
But it can also impact (and be impacted by) other things like mental health and wellbeing, motivation and self-esteem.
But don’t panic! It sounds scary, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. The sooner you take action, the easier it will be. And you can always start with just a few very easy steps.
Young children can often grow into their excess weight, so we don’t encourage them to lose weight. We focus on creating healthy habits and healthy lifestyles instead, so the problem solves itself over time.
It’s a lot more common than most people think. Nearly a quarter of children in Reception are overweight or obese. It’s over a third in Year 6.
More children are overweight than ever before. That means our perception of what’s normal has shifted, but what’s actually healthy has stayed the same.
And coronavirus has had a huge impact. The number of overweight children has shot up over the last two years.
So don’t worry – you’re not on your own! Thousands of other parents will have received the exact same letter today.
That’s a really complex question! It’s hard to maintain a healthy weight, no matter who you are. And that’s true for adults as well as children (we run adult programmes too!)
We all spend more time sitting down and less time moving around than we used to. Kids spend more time playing games online than running around with their friends.
Our environment and social lives play a big part too. We’re constantly exposed to cheap and unhealthy food options like takeaways, snack bars and fried foods. Plus these foods are often faster and easier to make than healthy food. And every parent is a busy parent!
There are lots of different reasons your child might be overweight. One family’s reason might not be the same as another family’s reason. We can help you work out what might work for your family.
It can be hard to make changes on your own, especially when you don’t know what’s going wrong. There’s lots of misinformation out there, and you probably don’t have hundreds of spare hours to do all the research.
That’s where we come in! We’ve already done the research, and we’ve got a whole team of brilliant nutritionists and behaviour change experts, who have helped hundreds of families in the past.
We help families create healthier, happier lives. We understand that life is busy, it’s complicated, and it’s difficult. We know how to help you overcome those challenges and build the best possible life for you and your children.
We offer four different services for families just like yours. They’re all completely non-judgemental, and they’re all good for different people at different times.
And they’re all free! (We’re funded by the Office of Health Inequalities and Disparities, which used to be Public Health England.)
BeeZee Academy is an online course that you can take from home, as fast or as slow as you like. It’s great if you can only snatch a few minutes of free time here and there.
BeeZee Lite is a one-on-one consultation with one of our expert nutritionists. They’ll talk to you about your particular circumstances, offer some immediate solutions, and point you in the right direction for the future. This is the best option if you can squeeze in an hour sometime soon, but you’re not sure exactly what you need or if you want to commit to more.
BeeZee Families is our in-person programme to help families create long-term healthy habits. You’ll have a session every week for 16 weeks. Every session is designed to help you and your children learn in a fun and exciting way, as well as getting the whole family active.
BeeZee Families Live is basically the same, but it’s only 10 weeks and it’s all done online. It’s still packed with fun activities and we’ll all get moving every week, but you can do it all from home.