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FIA promises £200m boost to its public health goals

By Louise Cordell
THE FIA has pledged to double the amount of cash the government invests in physical activity as well as promising a £200m boost to its public health goals.
Fred Turok, FIA chairman, called for the government to address the nation’s obesity crisis and announced the multi million pound scheme at the association’s ‘Delivering the Public Health Strategy’ summit last month.
Mr Turok said: “We need to think about how we can help the government deliver what is needed.
“The time for rhetoric is over and the time for action is now.”
Andrew Lansley MP, Conservative shadow secretary of state for health and Norman Lamb MP, Liberal Democrat shadow secretary of state for health, attended the event to show their support for the initiative.
Mr Lansley said: “We have to stop browbeating people and encourage them instead. We have not scratched the surface yet of what can be done to help people lead healthier lives.”
Mr Lamb agreed that health and fitness industry resources should be used more effectively if they are to make any impact on the public health crisis.
He said: “For too long we have focused on diet to the exclusion of the other side of the equation, which is physical activity.
“As a society, if we are to tackle the problem, we have to look at both diet and increasing our physical health.”
The FIA revealed that almost 90 per cent of the population live less than two miles from a health club or gym, but more than 50 per cent are classed as moderately or profoundly inactive.
It also pointed out that if levels of obesity and inactivity continue at their current rate, the NHS will be bankrupt by 2050.
Mr Turok added: “We have the capability, the capacity, the trained experts and above all the desire to do something.
“That is why we have made this public pledge and are willing to double any government investment designed to increase the nation’s activity levels.
“This is not an empty pledge, but one I hope will be a catalyst for action and help this nation to reverse the frightening public health trends we face.”

Go backPosted on 1st July 2008