The British Journal of Sports Medicine has deemed the lack of a proper national policy in the UK to encourage exercise in children is comparable to mass "child neglect".
Despite a wealth of evidence showing the immediate and long-term benefits of regular exercise in childhood and the expanding waistlines of UK children, the editors state that leadership and strategy on the issue "are totally absent".
Co-author Dr Richard Weiler, a Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine at University College London and Club Doctor at West Ham Football Club said: "There has been a persistent failure from this government and former governments to meet children's basic physical and psychological needs."
The editorial calls for current and future governments and educational bodies to act to create a comprehensive child-centred physical activity policy to give children from all backgrounds and sporting abilities every opportunity to be active on a daily basis.
Currently there is no statutory obligation for schools to provide physical activity and physical literacy, and it is not a factor monitored by Ofsted. Dr Weiler also called the level of finance allocated to promote physical activity among children "pitiful".
Criticism of the editorial has however been made, such as by Former Children's Minister Tim Loughton called the comments alarmist and unhelpful. He states that parents also had a role to play and that making sport and physical activity mandatory in schools risked putting children off "from a very early age".
Original Source BBC News
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