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New TV fitness campaign urges 'switch off the TV'

72% of children do not get enough physical activity outside school

OnMedica staff

Friday, 24 April 2009

Today sees the launch of a new television advertising campaign that urges families to switch off TVs and computers and take part in more  physical activity to help cut obesity.

A survey to accompany the campaign reveals that almost three quarters (72%) of children are not getting 60 minutes of daily activity outside of school.

The "How Are The Kids Survey", launched in January, is the biggest national survey of children's diet and activity levels, and received more than 260,000 responses from families across England.

The survey found that 45% of families participating in the Department of Health’s Change4Life health and fitness initiative watched TV or played non-active video games before school, and only 22% did something active after their evening meal.

Since the survey began, families have been sent tailor made support packs to help them make small but important changes to their daily routines.

The Department of Health says the new advert responds to the need for families to get more physical activity into their daily routines - “to make sure that the energy in, is matched by the energy out”.

The ad features the Change4Life family as they realise that “sitting around doing nothing” can lead to a build up of fat in their bodies that can cause diseases such as type two diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The family finds lots of fun ways to get their kids 60 active minutes - playing in the park, walking to school and playing with active computer games where kids need to jump and dance around.

Dawn Primarolo, Minister for Public Health said: "Our survey shows that kids just aren't getting up and about as much as they should. If we're going to cut obesity levels our children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

"Families up and down the country are getting tailor made action plans from Change4Life, and our new ads will give additional encouragement to help families feel the difference.

"By eating better and moving more, we can all live longer and healthier lives. With continued support from Change4Life this can be a reality for every family in England."

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