Public Health England- in partnership with the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH)- has released the briefing for their upcoming ‘how to tackle obesity’ guide for education providers
The plan comes at a time when childhood obesity is listed as one of the most serious public health challenges in the 21st Century, with experts at Sports Coach firm EdStart slamming schools across England as being “lazy” in their approach to sport in schools, claiming some spend their Government sports budgets on “loose connections to sport”.
“Schools have already been given a generous increase to their Primary PE and Sport Premium budgets- some schools have almost £20,000 a year to play with- which has to be proven to have been spent on enhancing physical activity at school.
“We know that some schools just aren’t doing this and it’s not good enough.” Chris Irwin, CEO of EdStart claims.
He continues “Maybe today’s kick up the behind by Public Health England will inspire schools to actually put more time and effort into making their school a positive, active environment, for the sake of the health of their children.”
Currently in England more than one in 5 children are overweight or obese when they begin school and one in 3 children are overweight or obese by the time they are leaving primary school.
The document, briefed to education providers across England today with a view to being rolled out in Spring 2019, is meant to encourage and guide education providers by providing in one document the latest evidence, resources and data to encourage a systematic approach to creating an environment at school which promotes healthy weight in children.
It outlines opportunities for action, which, if implemented by schools, contribute to the reduction of childhood obesity levels. These include;
- A daily mile
- Work with local transport agencies to promote and support active travel to and from school
- Implement a School Food Plan to create a culture and ethos of healthy eating
- Work closely with school nurses to understand health risks associated with childhood obesity
- Focus on positive allocation of the Primary PE and Sport Premium
Chris Irwin concludes; “In children, physical activity is critical for motor development, cognitive improvement, psycho-social and cardiometabolic health. I appreciate that teachers are spinning a lot of plates, but the Government is giving them the budget to tackle the problem of obesity, and it’s up to schools to use that money wisely.”