Saturday, August 1

Government Admits Health Policy Flawed

Millions in taxpayers money is knowingly wasted.

A report in the Daily Mail from Sarah Harris shows that nearly two thirds of teenagers do no physical activity at all. Government, responsible for spending over 250 million in "get out of the house" health promotion, admits that bad weather and kids skipping sport are more realistic driving factors.

Schools Minister Ian Wright has admitted that the findings, reported from a year long survey of 12,000 children, were news to the Schools Department. The government position has been criticised by the leading Child Health Expert, Tam Fry who described the government as being in "cloud cuckoo land". Opposition schools spokesman David Laws described the government's excuses for failure as "desperate and unconvincing".

Even before the report was commissioned, the government has been made aware of the problem of making sport fun and engaging, and has unheeded this advice and failed to act to even investigate the possibilities. What they have been told is that interactive technologies, such as video games and the web are far more engaging to today's youth; and these technologies should be used to deliver physical activity.

Video games engage teenagers because they are fun, it's social and it's their choice. Gamercize delivers physical activity (that surpasses exertion levels of school sport) using video games, not just the odd title, but all games. That's why Gamercize is best placed for teenagers to get some exercise - it's fun, it's social and it's their choice.

What's the next step for the nation's health? Perhaps the best people to decide the strategy would be those that are in touch with teenagers themselves? Our money is being used to promote a fundamentally flawed approach that is not working, has never worked and will never deliver - I think it is time for the whole government strategy to be audited, reviewed and held to account.

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