The regional government's ministry of Tourism and Sport and the Andalusian basketball federation have joined forces in a campaign to put a stop to child obesity. They have created a novel programme which aims to make parents more aware of the need for their children to have a healthy diet.
The campaign, which is part of the 'Valorcesto' platform, was presented in Malaga this week by the Junta's minister of Tourism and Sport, Francisco Javier Fernández; the president of the Andalusian basketball federation, Antonio de Torres, and Malaga basketball players, Alberto Díaz and Gema García. It was introduced by Juan Calderón, SUR's sports editor and a specialist reporter on the Unicaja basketball team.
During the 2018-2019 season, the campaign will focus on more than 3,000 children aged between 10 and 12, who play mini-basketball in Andalucía, through a series of activities to improve their health and a suitable diet to stop them putting on more weight than they should.
As well as giving parents guidance about the food their children should eat, under this programme the youngsters will be given fresh fruit at the end of the games. Their diet will be studied, and if any of them need their health to be monitored this will be done with the help of the Andalusian sports medicine centre. The food the children eat in hotels when they take part in mini-basketball tournaments will also be controlled.
Francisco Javier Fernández said that obesity is a problem which needs to be tackled, and he stressed the importance of educating children about healthy lifestyle habits. He pointed out that parents have a very important role to play because "they are the ones who fill the fridge and they need to be involved in their children's nutrition". He also emphasised that practising sport is a type of medical prescription. "We need to teach people to live healthier lives," he said.
Meanwhile, Antonio de Torres said this campaign is like opening a savings account for children so that they will be healthier in the future. Both Alberto Díaz and Gema García, when asked by Juan Calderón, agreed that a good diet is essential for good health.