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Ian Wright leads new health campaign to kick child obesity | UK | News UK News

Football icon Ian Wright wants more parents to learn about the value of nutrition and set positive examples for their children to combat child obesity.

The former England and Arsenal striker also praised the way the current generation of Three Lions stars like Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham are encouraging kids to eat well.

The football pundit, 60, has been involved in the Eat Well, Play Well partnership between Marks & Spencer and England’s national football teams for two years.

He said: “I am not trying to pick on parents but we need to eat more nutritious meals. We all want what’s best for our kids and we want them to eat well.”

Ian, who recently announced he will step down as a pundit on Match Of The Day at the end of this season, has welcomed our national game being used to positively impact children’s health.

He said: “I was watching a video on Instagram yesterday with Jude Bellingham, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips, three top players, eating a high protein meal. Will kids emulate that? Of course they will.”

“If I was younger and saw Bobby Charlton or Bobby Moore, or Kevin Keegan, eating anything I would copy it.”

“Kids are looking at their heroes and copying them, and you can bring that into your own life to stay healthy.”

“You can see how fit and fast players are now, and that has a lot to do with nutrition.”

Ian admitted eating pie and chips hours before playing for much of his career until French manager Arsene Wenger introduced modern sports science and revolutionised his Arsenal side.

He said: “It was a lack of knowledge all the way through my career until Arsene Wenger got involved.”

“Players now all have nutritionists and someone to make sure they stay hydrated. For those players the margins between success and failure are so small that diet is not something they can’t compromise on.”

“I always say to people you do not have to be a professional footballer, you just have to be eating right for yourself to feel better in your everyday job.”

Bridget Benelam, from the British Nutrition Foundation, said: “Children, especially when they’re young, their role models are their parents and their siblings, so one great thing you can do as a parent is to eat well yourself and then your children will see that as a model for how they will be eating.”

M&S has unveiled 50 new healthy products including “good gut” yoghurts and milk kefir drinks, and a mince alternative made from 10 plants.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-06 20:05:00

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