Guangzhou and Birmingham public health initiative


A public health programme hoping to develop health knowledge and healthy lifestyles among Chinese children for the purpose of promoting healthy nutritional and weight status has been officially launched in Guangzhou.

Devised and led by academics at the University of Birmingham (UK) and in collaboration with the Guangzhou Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, the programme, Chinese primary school children physical activity and dietary behaviour change intervention (CHIRPY DRAGON), aims to engage with children, as well as their parents, grandparents and school teachers to promote a healthier diet and more active lifestyle among the young.

The trial involves over 61,000 children at 43 primary schools across Guangzhou city and also hopes to improve the nutritional quality and taste of school meals, as well as physical activity provision on campus.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood officially launched the public health programme along with Mr Wang Dong, Vice Mayor of Guangzhou and Mr Matthew Rous, British Consul-General in Guangzhou. The opening ceremony took place at Jiu Bu Qian Primary School, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou and invited guests were treated to a dance performance by schoolchildren inspired by CHIRPY DRAGON.

Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham said:

‘The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of world class research to help promote the benefits of healthy living and we continue to work with our partners in China to encourage active lifestyles underpinned by a balanced and varied diet.’

‘It is a great privilege to be back in China to attend the official launch of CHIRPY DRAGON. Today marks the start of the trial in Guangdong province. The programme has come about following several years of dedicated research and thorough development by academics in Birmingham and we look forward to seeing the first results.’

Mr Matthew Rous, British Consul-General in Guangzhou said:

‘I am delighted that this innovative programme will enable Chinese children and their families to share in the UK’s experience of tackling inactivity and related poor health in young people. These first world problems need first rate solutions. Together, the UK and south China can be stronger in tackling the issues.

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