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18 February 2010, 06:00
Eight year old Luana Pathinha, from Peterborough, has lost four kilos in weight while taking part in a special NHS healthy eating programme.
Luana (pictured - right), her seven year old sister Marina, mum Silvia and dad Rui (pictured - right) and even five month old baby Eva all took part in a ten week course run by Peterborough Primary Care Trust.
Called MEND, which stands for mind, exercise, nutrition...do it!, the course aims to teach families how to eat better, exercise more and spend more time together.
Luana's dad Rui said: "Luana's lost four kilos and ten centimetres around her waist.
Quite simply, she's blossomed.
We haven't had crisps in the house now for four months and we've cut down on sweets by 99 percent."
Rui contacted MEND after realising his daughter was "a bit overweight" and saw a leaflet advertising the programme.
Recent figures show childhood obesity rates in the East of England are not improving.
Some key findings indicate:
The MEND programme has been set up to address these issues.
It is a ten week programme run by Peterborough PCT that addresses how families can adopt a healthier lifestyle and how to make exercise fun.
Rui added: "It's completely changed our lifestyle and we are happy as a family.
As far as Luana is concerned, I had never seen her look in clothes shops and things like that.
Now she enjoys wearing nice clothes and looks at herself in the mirror - it's done wonders for her confidence."
You can find out more about the MEND programme at a roadshow in The Queensgate Centre today, between 10am and 4pm.
Alternatively, you can contact programme manager Lynn Boness on 01733 295 864 for details.