Schools asked to play key role in fight against childhood obesity

Last Thursday saw the UK government’s plan to tackle childhood obesity unveiled. The main aim of the scheme is to get children eating healthier and undertaking more exercise whilst at school.

The strategy stated that primary schools in the UK will now be expected to deliver at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity to their pupils every day. Physical activity will also be a key part of the new healthy schools rating scheme. This voluntary scheme allows schools to demonstrate what they are doing to help make children more physically active.

The 13-page document said children should have least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, with 30 minutes being in school time and the other half away from school. The funding for this new scheme will be generated for the government’s proposed sugar tax, expected to make an estimated £520 million.

County Sports Partnerships will work with national governing bodies for sport, Youth Sport Trust and other national and local providers to ensure that from September 2017, every primary school in the UK has access to high-quality sport and exercise programmes.

The plan also asked that the food and drink industry play their part by cutting 5 per cent of the sugar found in popular products over the next year, the target is a 20 percent sugar cut by 2020.

UK Active chair, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said, “We support the government’s ambition to address the major issue of childhood obesity and believe it’s vital that we treat physical inactivity with the same importance if we are to overcome an impending health crisis. An inactive childhood means you are twice as likely to be an obese adult and shortens your lifespan by up to five years.

However, the strategy has come under fire from others for not going far enough. The Obesity Health Alliance said, “the measures announced are far from an ambitious strategy and let down the next generation”.

Source: Health Club Management

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