By Ann Evans
Photos courtesy of Body Buddies
According to statistics, the number of obese people in the UK has more than trebled in the past 25 years. Research also shows that one in three children are overweight with one in five being obese. The good news is that the childhood obesity levels are now starting to plateau and even fall slightly.
Doing their bit to try and help children understand the importance of eating healthily, are nutritionist and personal trainer, Laura Church, and mum of two, Sam Goldup who have teamed up to create Body Buddies.
Body Buddies are eight Super Heroes that live in your body and keep you strong, fit and healthy. There’s Might Muscle, Lucy Liver, Boggy Bowels, Panni Pancreas, Meta Man, Bossy Brain, Larry Lung and Harvey Heart. The stories show you what jobs they do and how we can all keep them happy by eating the right things. The message in the stories being – the happier they are, the healthier we are.
With three books published so far, relating to three different age groups, seminars for teachers and exercises packages for children to do at school break times, the team behind Body Buddies have created a fun way to get the message across to youngsters about healthy eating.
The Body Buddies team were at the London Book Fair at Earls Court recently, along with some of their Super Heroes.
I talked to Sam Goldup, who said that she was just a mum of two girls, who was fed up with dinner times and trying to get her children to eat healthily. She explained how the Body Buddies idea came to be. Sam said: “Laura is a nutritionist and a personal trainer with 30 years experience. She trained me to get fit. About about eight years ago she had the idea of of Body Buddies, and told me how she would like to write a book about them. I’ve always wanted to write, but had never put pen to paper. So about 13 months ago, we started to write and get this idea off the ground.
“We have now done three educational books for three different age groups: pre school, 5-10 year olds and teenagers. We’ve also done two story books that focus on the day in the life of a little girl and a little boy. They show how they get more energy or get tired depending on what they eat and don’t eat. We also do exercise packages to give to schools to do at break times. We go into schools to get the message across. It’s taken a while but we’ve just done it all ourselves without funding or grants.”
The woman who literally dreamed up the idea of Body Buddies, Laura Church is a well respected professional nutritionist and personal trainer who often receives referrals from GPs, Plastic Surgeons, Psychiatrists and Osteopaths. Laura explained how it all started. “I used to do seminars for the NHS and wanted to find a fun and easy way to get children to understand about nutrition. I actually envisaged Body Buddies in a dream and my son in law’s dad did the basic drawings to begin with.”
Another member of the team, Shatha Grant, who is the Creative Director added that the illustrator for their books is Leasho Johnson, an award winning Jamaican designer. Shatha told me, “I’ve worked with Leasho on many projects and I think he’s one of the best illustrators I have seen in my life. We’re so pleased to have such a high level of illustration for Body Buddies.”
“Laura added, “We want to get into schools, but don’t want to be preachy. We just want to give children the information, so they can use the information themselves and understand how their bodies work. And how different foods affect them. And what you basically need in your life to be healthy and have lots of fun and energy.”
For more details and to order your copy of Body Buddies for just £6.99 go to www.bodybuddiesnutrition.com