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Children do not exercise enough

24th April 2009

A government survey has revealed that most children do not do enough exercise to keep themselves healthy and prevent obesity.

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The findings comes from 260,000 people in England who responded to the poll conducted for the Change4Life campaign, which was launched in January to tackle the increase in obesity and promote healthy eating and exercise.

It found that 72% of children did not take part in the recommended hour of daily activity outside school and only 22% did something after an evening meal.

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Our survey shows that kids just aren't getting up and about as much as they should.

"If we're going to cut obesity levels our children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. By eating better and moving more, we can all live longer and healthier lives."

The charity Weight Concern expressed the view that it was vital parents led by example, while the National Obesity Forum said the survey findings were not surprising.

The Forum’s Tam Fry said: "Children are more dedicated to sitting in their room playing on their computers and watching television than taking exercise. Unless we do something to make play more enjoyable then they are not going to get the balance right between energy going in and energy going out."

Change4Life is launching a new advert to encourage families to work together to improve their lifestyles. It will stress the risks of inactivity and links to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

 

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