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Portsmouth Nurse takes on the Junk Food Generation though Music and Picture books

A Nurse from Portsmouth has written a series of songs and picture books to help children make better food choices and limit their junk food eating.

She did this after becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of childhood obesity on some of the adults she had been caring for.

Patsy Hobson, 50, has produced six picture books featuring a cartoon animal character who educates children about the food groups that make up healthy eating.

She has also penned a series of three-minute songs – the first of which is set to animation and performed by a group of cartoon characters.

The first singalong track called ‘Didilia Didilia What’s My Name?’ sees Viscount Vulchico – a fictional animated bird sing about what he needs to do to stop eating junk food – and is available to view on YouTube.

Patsy came up with the idea for the songs and picture books after seeing hundreds of patients throughout her nursing career present with health conditions linked to poor diets in childhood.

She also witnessed her own young nieces growing up, like most children, struggling with junk food and the impact this can have on health in later life.

Patsy said: “The songs and picture books are very much inspired by my own personal experience. I’ve worked in the NHS for more than twenty-five years and over that time I’ve seen many families accept junk food as part of everyday life.

“I have even seen friends and family members struggle with encouraging their children to eat healthily. When my nieces were younger, they were heavily influenced by television commercials advertising sugary and fatty snacks, and as a result, it was difficult for them not to become addicted to junk food.

“At the same, the importance of parental responsibility and the need to have a fine balance between the two to support children was equally as important.

“As children get older, the health implications of continued junk food eating cannot be underestimated. This includes developing tooth decay, cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity in later life.

“It is heart-breaking to see and very concerning for most families including my own. That’s why I knew I needed to take action and focus on something that parents and teachers could use to engage children in a fun way, whilst at the same time encouraging them to learn to eat healthier food.”

As an experienced nurse, Patsy knows first-hand how healthy lifestyle habits formed in childhood are more likely to create lasting change into adulthood – and so the idea for the children’s songs and picture books was born.

She said: “Research advocates that early childhood is the best time to build healthy habits with children that will continue well into their adult years. That’s why I created the character of Viscount Vulchico.

“In the picture books, Viscount Vulchico goes on a journey to learn about the food groups that make up healthy eating. It’s all about going back to the basics of what constitutes healthy eating as advocated by many nutritionists and experts.”

In the video for the first song, Viscount Vulchico sings and exercises in his make-believe ‘outdoor gym’ and performs basic children’s exercise routines including skipping, jumping jacks and ski hops – which children, parents and teachers can join along with at home or school.

The emphasis is again on learning about the main food groups that make up healthy eating and to discourage junk food eating, as well as promoting an active lifestyle through regular exercise.

Patsy said: “By combining catchy music and colourful animation in the picture books, I’m hoping that these will capture children’s imaginations while also educating them about the different food groups and encouraging parents to help children avoid junk food. Each of the picture books has a catchy song which I have written and is linked to each of the food groups.”

Patsy is also passionate about working with disadvantaged families and is hoping that the songs and picture books will be used to support families from all backgrounds. She spoke to several parents while researching the project over the years, including a family of four who had only £50 a week to buy food.

She said: “Many families living in extreme poverty have to make difficult choices between survival and healthy eating is often the last thing on their mind. One mother explained to me how it was cheaper to feed her children with junk food than to pay for healthy food.

“The mother described how the price of a packet of grapes was in some cases, more expensive than a 24 multipack of crisps, which was truly shocking. It was then I realised that helping families from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds to change their behaviours about junk food eating goes beyond banning junk food advertising and merely asking people to stop eating junk.

“This is because for many poor families, it is the difference between starvation and survival.  We have to tackle some of the things that may contribute to poor families resorting to buying junk food, including making healthy food such as vegetables and fruits cheaper than junk food, not the other way around.

“I am determined to help all families put healthy eating at the heart of their lives – and I am also hoping that my songs and picture books can be used to support various charitable initiatives that tackle poverty, whilst at the same time raising awareness of healthy eating in children.

“We must not forget that there are many families from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds who have found innovative ways to help their children eat healthily and limit junk food eating even on a limited budget, so more needs to be done to continue to empower and support these families.”

The songs and picture books are part of a series of educational resources that Patsy has published for children. Earlier this year she released the Viscount Vulchico Know Your Food Groups picture book series, followed by the first song, which helps educate children about the food groups through colourful pictures and engaging storytelling.

For more information please visit Patsy’s website at: https://viscountvcreations.com/

To view the music video please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwf-YIuEvQE&t=18s or search for Viscount Vulchico on all the major music streaming services.

She did this after becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of childhood obesity on some of the adults she had been caring for.

Patsy Hobson, 50, has produced six picture books featuring a cartoon animal character who educates children about the food groups that make up healthy eating.

She has also penned a series of three-minute songs – the first of which is set to animation and performed by a group of cartoon characters.

The first singalong track called ‘Didilia Didilia What’s My Name?’ sees Viscount Vulchico – a fictional animated bird sing about what he needs to do to stop eating junk food – and is available to view on YouTube.

Patsy came up with the idea for the songs and picture books after seeing hundreds of patients throughout her nursing career present with health conditions linked to poor diets in childhood.

She also witnessed her own young nieces growing up, like most children, struggling with junk food and the impact this can have on health in later life.

Patsy said: “The songs and picture books are very much inspired by my own personal experience. I’ve worked in the NHS for more than twenty-five years and over that time I’ve seen many families accept junk food as part of everyday life.

“I have even seen friends and family members struggle with encouraging their children to eat healthily. When my nieces were younger, they were heavily influenced by television commercials advertising sugary and fatty snacks, and as a result, it was difficult for them not to become addicted to junk food.

“At the same, the importance of parental responsibility and the need to have a fine balance between the two to support children was equally as important.

“As children get older, the health implications of continued junk food eating cannot be underestimated. This includes developing tooth decay, cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity in later life.

“It is heart-breaking to see and very concerning for most families including my own. That’s why I knew I needed to take action and focus on something that parents and teachers could use to engage children in a fun way, whilst at the same time encouraging them to learn to eat healthier food.”

As an experienced nurse, Patsy knows first-hand how healthy lifestyle habits formed in childhood are more likely to create lasting change into adulthood – and so the idea for the children’s songs and picture books was born.

She said: “Research advocates that early childhood is the best time to build healthy habits with children that will continue well into their adult years. That’s why I created the character of Viscount Vulchico.

“In the picture books, Viscount Vulchico goes on a journey to learn about the food groups that make up healthy eating. It’s all about going back to the basics of what constitutes healthy eating as advocated by many nutritionists and experts.”

In the video for the first song, Viscount Vulchico sings and exercises in his make-believe ‘outdoor gym’ and performs basic children’s exercise routines including skipping, jumping jacks and ski hops – which children, parents and teachers can join along with at home or school.

The emphasis is again on learning about the main food groups that make up healthy eating and to discourage junk food eating, as well as promoting an active lifestyle through regular exercise.

Patsy said: “By combining catchy music and colourful animation in the picture books, I’m hoping that these will capture children’s imaginations while also educating them about the different food groups and encouraging parents to help children avoid junk food. Each of the picture books has a catchy song which I have written and is linked to each of the food groups.”

Patsy is also passionate about working with disadvantaged families and is hoping that the songs and picture books will be used to support families from all backgrounds. She spoke to several parents while researching the project over the years, including a family of four who had only £50 a week to buy food.

She said: “Many families living in extreme poverty have to make difficult choices between survival and healthy eating is often the last thing on their mind. One mother explained to me how it was cheaper to feed her children with junk food than to pay for healthy food.

“The mother described how the price of a packet of grapes was in some cases, more expensive than a 24 multipack of crisps, which was truly shocking. It was then I realised that helping families from disadvantaged and poor backgrounds to change their behaviours about junk food eating goes beyond banning junk food advertising and merely asking people to stop eating junk.

“This is because for many poor families, it is the difference between starvation and survival.  We have to tackle some of the things that may contribute to poor families resorting to buying junk food, including making healthy food such as vegetables and fruits cheaper than junk food, not the other way around.

“I am determined to help all families put healthy eating at the heart of their lives – and I am also hoping that my songs and picture books can be used to support various charitable initiatives that tackle poverty, whilst at the same time raising awareness of healthy eating in children.

“We must not forget that there are many families from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds who have found innovative ways to help their children eat healthily and limit junk food eating even on a limited budget, so more needs to be done to continue to empower and support these families.”

The songs and picture books are part of a series of educational resources that Patsy has published for children. Earlier this year she released the Viscount Vulchico Know Your Food Groups picture book series, followed by the first song, which helps educate children about the food groups through colourful pictures and engaging storytelling.

For more information please visit Patsy’s website at: https://viscountvcreations.com/

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