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Are Welsh children and young people active enough? Assembly inquiry launched

11/08/2017

​How effective are efforts to encourage children and young people to be more physically active?  That’s the question being asked by an Assembly Committee inquiry being launched at the National Eisteddfod. 

Children doing sport at school

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is launching its inquiry into physical activity among children and young people with a workshop session with young people from Anglesey. 

A group of young people aged between 11-16 will talk to Committee Chair Dr Dai Lloyd AM and Committee Member Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, about barriers they face to being more physically active. The AMs and young people will get the chance to pedal 1 KM on an exercise bike and Dr Lloyd, who practices part-time as a GP, will be on hand to take their blood pressure.  

The inquiry will look at children and young people’s level of participation in exercise and sport, alongside the extent to which they do other types of physical activity such as walking to school. It will also look at:

  • How effective Welsh Government programmes and policies are in promoting physical activity amongst children and young people, and the value for money of these programmes;
  • What are the things that might be stopping children and young people being physically active;
  • Whether we have the right information about how active children and young people in Wales are;
  • Whether Welsh Government policies are making a difference to the physical activity levels of children and young people living in the most deprived areas of Wales.

Dr Dai Lloyd AM said:

“Keeping active brings long term health benefits, which is why it is so important that children and young people in Wales make it part of their everyday lives, and find a sport or activity they really enjoy. 

“Active children and young people are more likely to stay active and be healthier as they grow up, helping to reduce future pressures on the NHS in Wales. The Welsh Government has previously estimated that each year, the cost of physical inactivity to Wales is £650 million. 

“We want to look at how well the Welsh Government’s efforts to increase physical activity are working, and whether or not girls have fewer opportunities and different attitudes to boys when it comes to being active.

“More than a quarter of reception-age children in Wales are overweight or obese. We also know that these children are significantly more likely than the Welsh average to be obese, if they live in areas of higher deprivation. As the Welsh Government begins to develop a national obesity strategy, our inquiry will help to inform our contribution to it as we work to ensure that our young people in Wales have the best possible start in life.”

A consultation will be open for people to submit their own ideas and suggestions. The deadline is 15 September 2017. More information can be found on the Committee’s web pages and via its Twitter channel @SeneddHealth

 

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