Mum Ellen Smith sets up club for fat youngsters
Shocked mother Ellen Smith is taking on Medway’s obesity
crisis after learning that 20 per cent of 10-year-olds in
the area are drastically overweight.
Ellen, 31, is starting a free slimming club in Strood next week
aimed at 11-15 year-olds.
She is hoping parents will encourage the same healthy lifestyle
she has adopted for her children Abigail, aged four, and
Ellen, who has struggled with her weight since her teens,
believes that key to tackling obesity in children is educating them
through their parents.
She said: “I remember the embarrassment and unhappiness of
“This is not about sticking to a diet and counting calories.
It’s about making healthier options that become habits for
She blames some of her own weight problems with coming from a
She said: “If a child sees their mum eating crisps rather a than
a piece of fruit, they grow up thinking that’s the norm.
“There is nothing wrong with the odd bar of chocolate or packet
"It’s about eating as much fat-free food, that’s fruit,
vegetable, fresh fish, meat and eggs as you want. This type of food
fills you up.”
Ellen has tried numerous dietary fads, including low calorie
soups and shakes and pills.
Despite running around after two little ones, she would drive to
the park and watch them play rather than join in.
Then last January she decided to go with her mum Ann-Marie
Shepherd to her local Slimming World club in Strood.
"This is not about sticking to a diet and counting calories. It’s about making healthier options that become habits for life" – Ellen Smith
She enrolled weighing
19st with a target of losing five. In the first week she lost 6lb
and the weight gradually dropped.
Slimming World’s Family Affair scheme came about after a number
of parents expressed concern about their child’s weight.
Ellen, who lives in Weston Road, Strood, with husband, Daniel,
31, said: “It’s not saying you can’t ever have chips again.
“It’s saying why not go for a healthy swap, like a baked potato,
choosing wholemeal bread instead of white.”
The club opens on Tuesday, January 8, starting at 7.30pm at the
English Martyrs RC Church in Frindsbury Road.
To contact Ellen, ring 07960 357521. Children must be
accompanied by an adult.
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