Wednesday, January 23

Government Spending £372m on Anti-Obesity Strategy

Active Southampton Shows the Way

Olympic and Commonwealth medallists Peter Waterfield and Iwan Thomas are joined by BBC's Roger Johnson to promote today's launch of the city's initiative to get Southampton active.

On the same day the government announces plans for "anti-obesity" spending of £372 million,including £30m to be spent in creating several healthy towns.

Southampton could already be a healthy town, with all the clubs, sport, indoor and outdoor opportunities to be active there should be no excuses. Yet Active Southampton chair, Jayne Ludden, announces "45% of Southampton adults lead a sedentary lifestyle".

The government, in its latest strategy, is planning to use £75m for just advertising and awareness. Getting the message across to be active is clearly going to be the biggest challenge for the Active Southampton partnership too.

To address this the partnership has appointed ambassadors and also plans to be a one-stop-shop on where and how to be active. At the launch today, Young Ambassadors said the aim is to "inspire and engage both young and old to be more active".

Having met many focused and dedicated individuals from the launch event, I would say that the initiative has every chance of succeeding. As Southampton is the home town of Gamercize - providing the technology for fitness and motivation to all, from office workers to school children - we will be getting involved to help out too.

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