A secondary school’s pioneering project to help its students lose weight and get active has proved a success.

The scheme run by Patcham High School in Brighton is now being taken up by other schools in the city.

Staff at Patcham came up with the after-school weight management course to help students they believed would benefit from more exercise and healthy eating.

The 18 students currently on the six-week course attend gym sessions, get talks from dieticians about sensible eating and have been learning how to cook healthy food.

In four weeks they have lost 14kg – about 3.5kg per week.

The total weight loss so far, equates to about the weight of an average two-and-a-half-year- old child. The project was developed by PE teacher Matt Lindner, the school nurse and child protection officer.

Mr Lindner, who is also a qualified personal trainer, said: “We were noticing that children are sometimes more sedentary and preferring to watch TV or play computer games instead of being active.

“We got in contact with form tutors and looked to see which children might benefit.

“We contacted their parents and all of them approached agreed to their child taking part in the course.

"The children have all really got a lot out of the scheme and are really pleased with how well they are doing. We are delighted with how well it has gone and will be holding more courses in the future.”


Year 10 student Lucy Flower, 15, said: “I think the course is a really good idea and it keeps you motivated.

"I wanted to lose weight and this has helped. Having other people in the group helps people feel they are not alone.”

Mr Lindner said the long-term aim was to make Brighton and Hove the first city where it was compulsory for restaurants and cafés to detail calories in each food selection, so that children and adults alike can make healthier choices.

A spokeswoman for NHS Sussex said: “Maintaining a healthy weight is important for a child’s wellbeing and can help to reduce the risk of serious weight-related health problems occurring in the future.”

Latest figures show that in Brighton and Hove 8.2% of four to five-year-olds are obese and 13.3% are over- weight.