Comment by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK

The Obesity Health Alliance, of which the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK (FSEM) is a member, has sent a briefing to MPs involved in the Westminster Hall debate on funding allocation of the soft drinks industry levy, highlighting its key messages.

The FSEM, which represents doctors and consultants skilled in Exercise Medicine, Musculoskeletal Medicine and Team Care, welcomes proposed government measures to invest revenue from the soft drinks industry levy in programmes to provide an increase in sport and physical activity for school aged children.

Dr Paul D Jackson, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine Comments: “The government has indicated that an estimated £520 million from the soft drinks industry levy will be used to fund an increase in school sports and physical activity. This is a welcome measure and one which we hope will be truly reflected in the outcome of the funding allocation debate at Westminster.

There is compelling evidence that regular physical activity is effective in the primary prevention of chronic disease; we welcome policy and revenue which is strongly directed towards enabling more children to take part in regular physical activity to prevent childhood obesity and many of the diseases related to this.”

The FSEM supports physical activity measures proposed in the Childhood Obesity Plan to help all children achieve the current guidelines for physical activity. Increasing sport and physical activity across all UK schools, at least 2 hours per week; with schools, parents and carers working together to achieve the physical activity guidelines, will have a positive impact on the long term health of our children.

UK Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity in children and young people:

  • All children and young people should engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 60 minutes and up to several hours every day
  • Vigorous intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone, should be incorporated at least three days a week.
  • All children and young people should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

You can find and share this comment online at the FSEM website.

 

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