National Healthy Living Competition launches for children to win new outdoor school facilities

Children and young people could win funding for the transformation of their school playground or sports area, or the creation of a new school vegetable garden courtesy of Disney in a competition to promote healthy living, which launched today as part of the preparations for National Obesity Awareness Week 2014.

The organisers of National Obesity Awareness Week have teamed with Disney and renowned child nutrition expert Annabel Karmel to launch the inaugural competition. Entrants will be asked to create a picture of a healthy meal or packed lunch (infant and junior age groups) or create their own healthy recipe (secondary school age group).

The winning entry in each age group will win funding from Disney for a new outdoor healthy living activity area for their school or early years setting. Two runners up in each category will receive a selection of sports equipment for their school or early years setting.

More than 20 per cent of children in the UK are believed to be obese, with only one in five local authorities allocating funding to tackle childhood obesity.

National Obesity Awareness Week 2014 is being organised in partnership with the National Obesity Forum and will take place between 13 and 19 January.

Dr David Haslam, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, said:

“Childhood obesity is a major problem, and the solution is to educate our children and encourage them to think about what they are eating and the importance of eating healthily.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Annabel Karmel and Disney involved in this competition. I’m excited to see what creative ideas children and young people across the UK will come up with. Perhaps this will be the first step in the career of a budding artist or chef. We hope schools across the country will encourage their pupils to get involved.”

Matthew Grossman, Vice President Corporate Communications, Publicity and Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company (Europe, Middle East & Africa) said:

“The Walt Disney Company is committed to supporting children and their families in making every day healthy eating and lifestyle decisions, particularly when it comes to food, exercise and overall well-being. This campaign is a great opportunity to make learning about healthy living fun and inspire children to create imaginative meals that are tasty and nutritious.”

Annabel Karmel, child nutritionist, said:

“Children have wonderful imaginations, so I have no doubt we will see lots of creative entries. I became involved in this campaign as we need to encourage youngsters to understand the importance of eating a well-balanced diet. Childhood obesity is a growing problem, so we need to instil a love of good, healthy food through fun, engaging initiatives such as this.”

Full details of the competition’s rules and prizes are available on the National Obesity Awareness Week website ( The deadline for entries is 22 November 2013.