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Healthy towns share £30m

11th November 2008

The government has launched a £30 million programme to create nine "healthy towns" as part of plans to target obesity.

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Middlesbrough, Manchester, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets in London, Dudley, Halifax, Thetford in Norfolk, Tewkesbury and Portsmouth will each receive a portion of the money.

The money will be used to encourage people to walk, cycle, eat healthily and improve green areas.

The initiative is part of the government's Change4Life campaign, which is a drive to improve the health and fitness levels of the population.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said: "Obesity is the biggest health challenge we face."

He added that the healthy towns "must promote healthy living. Each town has come up with innovative ways - such as a loyalty schemes or cycling projects - to help their residents to be more active."

"Healthy towns is just the start. Our aim is to create a healthy England."

One of the projects is Points4Life in Manchester, where people can take part in a reward scheme if they exercise. Halifax are trying out a grow-you-own fruit and vegetable scheme, while Portsmouth will put up signs to aid people taking exercise to "time their progress".

London's Tower Hamlets will start an award scheme to promote the health ratings of food outlets and eating places.

Stastics have shown increasing levels of obesity in the UK. Almost a quarter of the adult population and a fifth of children are obese.

 

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