Today’s new childhood obesity strategy underlines the serious issue of unhealthiness among children . More than a third of those aged 11 are overweight or obese and just one in five children are sufficiently active to stay healthy. This is negatively impacting the nation’s health as we age and is costing the NHS £5.1bn per year.
Tompion Platt, Head of Policy at Living Streets, the charity responsible for the national Walk to School campaign says:
The Government’s commitment in the obesity strategy to setting a ‘clear target to increase the number of children walking to school’ is fantastic news at a time when walking levels continue to decline.
“We’re pleased that the new Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), out later in the year, is going to include a new target, in a bid to increase the number of children walking to school. Our hopes are that this target will be challenging and backed by the necessary investment to make it happen.
“We need to do more work to encourage children to be physically active and one of the easiest and most accessible ways of doing this is through walking. This everyday act not only involves children moving; helping them to maintain a healthy weight, it has been shown to improve mental health, gives them time to socialise with friends or family and can teach independence and vital road safety skills. It should be considered as one of the best options to improve our children’s health.”