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Health and well-being - The fight against fat

What it's all about

When Kyle Vanes was 14 he had a 37-inch waist and could only wear men's clothes. Although he played football, he was still putting on weight. He was bullied because of it and his life was miserable, writes Victoria Walden.

Things changed dramatically, however, when Kyle and his sister Courtney, 10, began a 12-week programme with SHINE Health Academy in Sheffield. The project, set up in 2003, works with more than 100 children aged 10-17 a year, addressing a range of problems caused by obesity.

Kyle, now 17, says: "SHINE taught me that it was what I ate that made me into what I was. I often ate junk and my portions were very big. I had lost confidence and suffered with anxiety.

"It took a lot of hard work with the training (boxing) and trying new foods, but I did it and I am really happy for it."

Kyle has now lost almost 3st (19kg) and 5in (13cm) from his waist. He appeared on Gok Wan's TV show Gok's Teens: the naked truth, sharing his experiences and success.

About 3 million children in the UK are seriously overweight and at risk of chronic health problems, from heart disease to type 2 diabetes. Many suffer from low self-esteem, depression or anxiety.

SHINE's managing director, Kath Sharman, believes the link with schools is crucial in identifying young people with weight issues and helping them to access early intervention programmes.

www.shinehealthacademy.org.uk

What else?

Explore what it means to be obese, and how diet can prevent it, with foodafactoflife, bit.lyObesityLesson

Raise awareness - and money - to support programmes like the SHINE Health Academy using resources from BBC Children in Need, bit.lybbcChildrenInNeedTES.

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