Southend United have helped hundreds of fans and their families wage war on their Christmas waistlines with a host of activities aimed a tackling obesity.

In partnership with the Southend United Community & Educational Trust, the Southend Children's Trust's Change4life Group provided a host of healthy attractions prior to the Blues' npower League 2 game with Chesterfield on January 8.

Held to promote National Obesity Week (17-23 January), the activities included free NHS Health Checks, information stands on health and personal fitness programmes plus the distribution of healthy recipes.

''The Change4Life event gave families the information needed to lead a healthy and happy lifestyle," said Steve Goodsell, Chief Executive Southend United Community & Educational Trust.

"It was a fantastic day and our thanks go to the NHS, Primary Care Trust, Southend Council, V-Involved, Waitrose, Southend United and the Change4Life group for their kind support."

Southend Waitrose donated free fruit for the event whilst a Blenda-Venda - a bicycle that powers a food blender used to make nutritious fruit smoothies - added to the healthy activities.

And to reinforce the message, Southend players warmed-up for the game in Change4Life training tops and fans took the chance to test their shooting prowess using the club's inflatable goalmouth.

"Obesity is on the increase and it's essential that we do all we can to reverse this worrying trend," added Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Culture, Derek Jarvis.

"The Change4Life Day at Roots Hall on Saturday was a great opportunity for mums and dads to have a free health-check and pick up some nutritious recipes for the whole family."

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