A healthy eating project is encouraging visitors to local
leisure centres to stock up on healthier food and drinks by
installing a new range of vending machines.
The project is a joint initiative between the Health Improvement
Service at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust,
Durham County Council and Northumbria Water.
Michelle Speed, Health Improvement Specialist for the NHS Trust
explains: "Our role is to improve the health and wellbeing of the
public through a range of programmes that serve the community. We
have been working with a range of partners to make healthy eating
choices easier for people from antenatal mums through to older
"Our leisure centre project is based around the 'Change 4 Life'
programme and encourages the community to swap unhealthy snacks for
healthier alternatives. "We know that parents can sometimes come
under pressure from their children about what they like to eat and
therefore we are trying to make it easier for parents to make
healthier choices while out with their children in the
"The new vending machines will stock snacks including nuts and
seeds, healthier biscuits and baked crisps instead of fried. We
worked with local schools in the area to gather ideas from children
and young people on what they would like to see and by having the
vending machines within leisure centres families will be able to
combine healthy eating with being active."
The project is initially going to be launched in two leisure
centres within County Durham - Woodhouse Close in Bishop Auckland
and Sunnydale Leisure Centre in Shildon. It is hoped the project
will then be rolled out across all leisure centres within the
Photographed: Michelle Speed, Health Improvement
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