A Harrogate-based company has been recognised for the third time by the Royal Society for Public Health for its work combating childhood obesity.
Purely Nutrition, which has pioneered healthy eating in more than 1,860 primary schools through its PhunkyFoods programme, is one of 26 organisations honoured as part of the Society’s Health and Wellbeing Awards which recognise work to improve the nation’s health.
Purely Nutrition, which was also recognised by the Society in 2011 and 2013, was honoured for its outstanding track record of promoting health and wellbeing through its work in improving children’s understanding of food and nutrition.
Its PhunkyFoods programme teaches children up to the age of 11 about healthy eating through fun activities, including drama, music, crafts and games.
Dr Jennie Cockroft, director of nutrition at Purely Nutrition, said she was delighted with the award, but that there was no room for complacency.
“Childhood obesity remains one of the most serious public health issues today in the UK, with no let-up in the obesity epidemic we are facing,” she said.
“We know that obese children are more likely to become obese adults and face greater ill health at an earlier age as a result.
“PhunkyFoods continues to roll out its work across the UK, helping teachers to deliver healthy lifestyle messaging through fun; turning schools into healthier environments from which to build healthier communities.”
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “It was an extremely competitive field this year and I would like to congratulate our 2015 winners who are all exemplars of innovative, progressive programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. I hope that their effective programmes will be adopted and celebrated elsewhere.”
Purely Nutrition has increased its workforce this year, with an additional 10 community support workers in England and Scotland.
Their job is to provide PhunkyFoods training to school staff and to act as advisers to help schools deliver a “whole-school” approach to healthy lifestyles.
They also deliver parental programmes and facilitate strong, sustainable community links with partner schools.