William Eichler 19 October 2015

Councils issue warning over a 'lost generation' of obese children

Councils issue warning over a lost generation of obese children image

Grassroots sports participation is plunging creating a couch-potato culture of obese children, councils are warning.

The number of people aged 16 and above taking part in sport at least once a week has dropped by 400,000 since the 2012 Olympics. This is down from 15,890,400 people in 2011-12 to 15,491,200 in 2014-15.

New figures also show worrying levels of obesity in the UK. More than 135 people with diabetes have a leg, foot or toe amputated each week and four out of five of these amputations are preventable. It is estimated that obesity costs the NHS £4.2bn a year and physical inactivity about £1.1bn.

Councils warn that a ‘lost generation’ of obese and physically inactive teenagers is the result of the decline in participation in sports.

Currently, nearly half a billion pounds is awarded by Sport England, the governing body, to national sports bodies to increase participation. Out of the 46 sports only six (athletics, cycling, netball, table tennis, archery and fencing) have so far shown a significant rise in participation rates.

In a new submission to the Government, which is drawing up a new sports strategy, the Local Government Association (LGA), argues that national funding should be devolved through Sport England to councils and local partners in a bid to boost active lifestyles and in turn reduce obesity and ease pressure on the NHS.

Cllr Ian Stephens, chairman of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board said: ‘Councils are best-placed to reach those who play sport or want to start doing so, as most sport takes place in swimming pools, leisure centres, parks and open spaces owned or managed by local authorities. However, they are being hamstrung by a national funding system which is not fit for purpose.’

He continued: ‘Councils need the opportunity to spend this sports funding in the most effective way - on the parks, playing fields and facilities where it can best reach the most people to get active and feel healthier.’

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey image

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - LD & Autism

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Senior Social Worker / Senior Occupational Therapist/ Senior Practitioner With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to s England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free On-Site Parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanentFull Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Children with DisabilitiesPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Manager (South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre)

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,944 per annum, rising to £25,284
South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre is one of Chelmsford City Council's excellent leisure facilities which offers a variety of sporting activities... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Director - Inclusion

Suffolk County Council
£75,745 - £93,245 pa
We are seeking a highly skilled Assistant Director Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue