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New-look card game set to tackle childhood obesity in Manchester


A new twist on a classic children's playground game is set to make learning about food fun for thousands of primary school children and their families in Manchester.

The CHAMP Trumps card game is based on food-themed characters, several of which were inspired by children from Pike Fold Primary School in Blackley.  The game is designed as a great new way to learn about the health benefits of a range of popular food items.

CHAMP Trumps is being given free-of-charge to parents/carers of primary aged children who view their child's measurements online via the CHAMP (Children's Health and Monitoring Programme) website.

Pictured above right: Clinical Programme Manager Sarah Vince-Cain (R), Ben Green from The University of Manchester, Vikkey Draycott, Assistant Head, Pike Fold Primary School with pupils showing their winning designs:  (L to R) Ocean Garner, Evanric Dean Lapore, Amy Stewart, Joshua Manjra, and Wiktoria Adamczyk

The CHAMP website provides parents/carers with valuable feedback on their children's growth and supports an extended NHS National Child Measurement Programme which is exclusive to Manchester.  By raising awareness of their child's growth on an annual basis, CHAMP connects with parents/carers and supports them to make positive lifestyle changes.

The CHAMP Trumps card game has been developed as part of the Reducing Childhood Obesity in Manchester (RCOM) Programme a citywide collaboration led by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT).  This group, which also involves The University of Manchester, Manchester City Council, City in the Community (Manchester City Football Club's Foundation), ASDA, Health Education England, is developing a series of measures designed to address the issue of childhood obesity in the city.

Recent evidence from Public Health England shows that a third of pupils leaving primary school in the UK are overweight or obese.  Programme Manager for

Sarah Vince-Cain, Clinical Programme Manager for RCOM, said:  "Research tells us that parents and carers are unlikely to recognise that their own children are overweight and we know that awareness is a key factor in the cycle of change.

"Our aim is to support parents and families in Manchester and help them achieve a balanced diet and lead healthy lifestyles.  We hope that our CHAMP Trumps card game will be a fun and easy way for children and their families to learn more about food and its impact on health."

Ben Green from The University of Manchester, who led the design and supported the wider development of the game, said:  "We have designed CHAMP Trumps to encourage players to see that being healthy is about balance and choice, rather than labelling certain foods as being healthy or unhealthy."

Eight of the fun food characters in the game were designed by pupils at Pike Fold Primary School, all of whom have received a framed copy of their design.

Asda supported the production of the cards and donated vouchers for the top three prize winners.  Manchester City Football Club donated match tickets as part of the overall winner's prize.


Notes to editors


CHAMP was developed by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) in 2013 in direct response to evidence which states that parents/carers are unable to recognise their own children being overweight.  Behaviour change theory tells us that awareness is crucial to behaviour modification and that it comes ahead of making sense of information and preparing to change.  Offering lifestyle solutions to parents/carers who do not realise there is a problem is futile.  By raising awareness among parents/carers of their child's growth on an annual basis, CHAMP is connecting with parents, respecting their willingness to implement appropriate action and is likely to improve the receptivity of commissioned health and lifestyle services.

The height and weight of all primary school children in Manchester are currently measured every year by the CMFT School Health Service, with their parents'/carers' consent, as part of an extended NHS National Child Measurement Programme exclusive to Manchester.  The results are uploaded to the CHAMP website ready to be accessed online by parents/carers.  Last year, the parents of approximately 45,000 children were invited to view their children's growth online.  This year's measurement programme is set to start later this month.

The CHAMP website is available at www.champ.cmft.nhs.uk/.

The character and card design was created by Digistr, a design studio based in Stoke-on-Trent.  Their illustrators worked with the team to deliver a consistent and compelling set of characters, contributing heavily to the character concepts.