Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Walking to school could help to defuse the childhood obesity 'time-bomb'.

Almost a third of children in the UK leaving primary school are either obese or overweight, creating, says charity Living Streets, a 'public health time-bomb.'

Their solution is to encourage families to build exercise into their daily routine through making it easier for children to walk or cycle to school.

Living Streets is a national charity that has been campaigning in the interests of pedestrians since 1929. They support a number of initiatives to encourage children to be more active including 'Walk Once A Week' and the national 'Walk to School Week.'

Living Streets has welcomed a target set by the government to get 55% of children in the UK walking to school over the next decade and announcing a cycling and walking investment strategy.

The charity has though expressed concern that a lack of funding may mean these good intentions aren't turned into practical improvements.

North Staffs Green Party shares these concerns and has announced its support for the Living Streets campaign to get more children walking to school.

Campaigns Coordinator Adam Colclough said 'We support fully the aims of Living Streets in working to improve conditions for cyclists, pedestrians and everyone who uses our public spaces and will be taking action to promote their campaign.'

This action will include writing to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill asking him to ensure sufficient funding is made available for the government to meet its target for getting more children walking to school and implement its cycling and walking strategy. The party will also be writing to Stoke-on-Trent City Council to urge them to support the call for funding to get children walking to school to be protected.

As part of its health policies the Green Party encourages people to adopt healthy lifestyles and believes some aspects of society need to be adapted to make this easier. This includes focussing on preventing illness as well as making sure the NHS is properly funded, improving the design of our towns and cities to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle; building more outdoor activities into the school day to improve students learning and well-being and improving public transport.

Campaigns Coordinator Adam Colclough said 'We all want to do something about the rising levels of childhood obesity and making it easier ans safer for kids to walk to school is an ideal way of doing so.'

He added that ' At its heart the Green Party is all about working for the common good, this is just the sort of issue that allows us to put that principle into practice. We will work with any organisation, community group or other party that shares our values and wants to take positive action to improve the health and well-being of our young people.'

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