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Fit For Sport response to the Childhood Obesity strategy - August 2016

                                   

Fit For Sport supports the government’s childhood obesity strategy and is particularly encouraged by it’s commitment to helping all children achieve and enjoy 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Whilst concerns have been raised around the lack of commitment to tackling the junk food industry and its advertising to children, the strategy pledge to reduce sugar in popular children’s products by 20% and introduction of a soft drinks industry levy show that there is considerable efforts being made to tackle the issue of poor nutrition amongst children and to increase healthy eating habits.

The strategy recognises the importance of free choice and at Fit For Sport we believe that it is the educating of children, families and the wider community that will have the greatest impact on promoting and sustaining healthy lifestyles.

The recognition of a wider approach is fundamental to this strategy succeeding and is an approach that Fit For Sport fully support, encouraged by the need for accountability across the whole community, including schools, communities, families and significant others.

The continued commitment to children getting 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday is hugely positive. At Fit For Sport we believe that ‘60 minutes-a-day’ should be as prevalent a message as ‘5-a-day’, with whole communities committing to and driving this message.

Fit For Sport believes that children achieving 60 minutes of physical activity every day should be the responsibility of the whole community and is fundamental to the success of getting more children active, recognising the importance of being active in and out of school, during term time and the school holidays.

Although the strategy aims at driving only 30 minutes of physical activity during school hours through active break times, PE, extra-curricular clubs, active lessons etc, it also states that the remaining 30 minutes must be supported by parents and carers outside of school time. However, this must be something that both the government and guardians commit to in order to ensure success.

The introduction (albeit voluntary) of the new healthy rating scheme for primary schools is another positive step, increasing the awareness of health and wellbeing in primary schools and increasing the level of Ofsted engagement in monitoring schools’ attempts to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Furthermore, the soft drinks industry levy is welcomed as a positive step to sustain and increase the Primary PE and Sport Premium (doubling funding) and key that Ofsted thoroughly assess how effectively school leaders are using this premium and measure its impact on outcomes for pupils. It is important that schools have an opportunity to demonstrate what they are doing to make their pupils more physically active, being held accountable by governors to drive this agenda.

Fit For Sport works closely with the whole community, putting engagement through physical activity at the heart of everything we do. The government’s childhood obesity strategy is a strong starting point to further action and provides opportunity for a cross-sector approach to tackling the obesity problem.

For further information on how Fit For Sport work with children, schools, families and communities to drive physical activity please contact [email protected] or visit the Fit For Sport website www.fitforsport.co.uk.

Thanks and stay active

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