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Swim England sign up to support Children First campaign

Swim England are supporting a campaign for a Cabinet minister for children and young people.

The campaign, led by Children First, is calling for policy-makers to put children at the heart of all decision-making.

Children First identify childhood obesity and physical inactivity as two key factors contributing to the development of an increasingly unhealthy population.

They are calling for a Cabinet member to specifically address the existing barriers to a fit and healthy childhood in the United Kingdom.

Statistics highlighted by Children First include:

  • One third of our children are overweight/obese. (Department of Health ISCIC, Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet)
  • Over £5bn is spent by the NHS each year on health problems associated with excess body weight (Department of Health ‘Reducing obesity and improving diet’)
  • Obesity in 22% of four-five year olds rises to 33% at ages six-seven; projected life-spans are decreasing for the first time in history (Hardy LR, Harrell JS and Bell RA, Journal of Paediatric Nursing).
  • 89% of girls and 79% of boys aged five-15 fail to meet the minimum recommended guidelines for physical activity (Youth Sports Trust, 2015 ‘You, School and PE’).
  • Today’s children are the least-ever active UK generation. British Heart Foundation, Physical Activity Statistics 2014, highlighted that amongst children aged two-four only 9% of boys and 10% of girls are achieving their physical activity recommendations in the United Kingdom.
  • The Persil/Unilever Project ‘Dirt is Good’ campaign found that most primary school age children spend less time in outdoor play than prisoners are required to have by law.

Find out more about the campaign on the Children First website.