Physical activity in combination with a healthy balanced diet has a direct relationship with helping to prevent obesity or persons being overweight.
The high levels of overweight and obesity in children are recognised nationally and the National Childhood Measurement Programme and the Department for Health’s social marketing ‘Change4Life’ campaigns aim on tackling this rising concern. The degree to which inactivity is responsible for current obesity rates has not been established but there is evidence to suggest that children who are less active are more likely to have excess fat.
Organisations representing nearly every doctor in the UK have united in a single campaign to tackle rising levels of obesity. A spokesman for the campaign, Prof Terence Stephenson from Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), said “Almost a quarter of adults in the UK are thought to be obese and some predictions suggest half of children will be obese or overweight by 2020, with Prof Stephenson saying they were "storing up problems for the future. This is a huge problem for the UK. It's much bigger than HIV was, much bigger than swine flu. Every doctor I've ever spoken to feels obesity is a huge problem for the UK population."
The Department of Health said it welcomed the colleges' "emphasis on obesity as this is one of our key public health priorities," and highlighted the change4life campaign to encourage healthier living, and the "responsibility pledge" by some food and drink companies to improve public health.
The latest NCMP (National Childhood Measurement Programme) data shows a positive correlation between deprivation and levels of childhood obesity.
The study provides high-level analysis of the prevalence of ‘underweight', ‘healthy weight', ‘overweight', ‘obese' and 'overweight and obese combined' children, in Reception (aged 4–5 years) and Year 6 (aged 10–11 years), measured in state schools in England in the school year 2010/11.