A group of cross-party MPs have called on the government to change the childhood obesity plan to place a greater focus on the importance of exercise to reduce obesity.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on A Fit and Healthy Childhood has produced a report into physical activity to reduce childhood obesity. In it, they call for the promotion of exercise to be a part of the government’s childhood obesity strategy and made a number of recommendations for exercise to be introduced in schools.
While the report welcomed the forthcoming sugar tax on soft drinks – set out in the childhood obesity plan – it recommended that traffic light food labelling be replaced with “activity equivalent” calorie labels that show how much walking it would take to burn off calories.
Other recommendations in the report include the implementation of physical activity in traditional classroom learning, and the introduction of a Daily Mile, the campaign pioneered in Scotland by Elaine Wyllie.
“We need a national campaign to stop the rot,” said Helen Clark, lead author of the report and former MP for Peterborough. “The excellent Daily Mile campaign pioneered in Scotland by Elaine Wyllie shows what can be done. We now need our Government to pick up the physical activity gauntlet – and not to mince words – RUN WITH IT!”