Family Lives responds to Oliver Wotherspoon’s call to action about tackling obesity

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive said:

 “OLIVER Wotherspoon is right to state that he wants to see more done to encourage children to play outside. Research carried out by Family Lives and Living Streets in 2010 found that parents disproportionately fear their children being abducted or killed in a road accident whilst out playing or walking to school over the more likely threat to their health from childhood obesity.   Over a thousand parents of primary school aged children were asked what they fear most for their children (from a given list) and 30% stated abduction or murder, with only 5% revealing a fear for their child’s poor health in later life due to their child’s current level of  physical activity. It’s understandable that parents fear accidents or abduction, but this could impact on their children’s health as their children will likely suffer long-term health problems from obesity. 

We know that parents and carers face increasing demands on their time as they try to balance work and family life. For many families, this may mean working shift patterns or commuting long hours which will impact on when they see their children and where they allow them to explore.  Whatever the barriers, we encourage parents to explore ways to enjoy the great outdoors together as a family.   If parents are concerned, further information can be found on our website www.familylives.org.uk or our free 24 hour helpline can offer support and advice on 0808 800 2222.”

Click on link to read the full report. 

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