Get on your bike or get fat

By Rosee Woodland | Monday, January 19, 2009 8.30pm

This is how your son or daughter could look in 30 years time according to a UK health campaign.

The Government is resorting to scare tactics to get kids to exercise more, after new predictions that nine out of ten children born today could be overweight or obese by 2050.

Its campaign, dubbed Change4Life, is a last ditch attempt to head off a forecast epidemic of heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer among the generation of tomorrow.

A Government health spokeswoman told Bikeradar.com: "The Dept of Health has recruited the help of 10 London kids to produce a hard-hitting image that sees them 'digitally aged' to show what they would look like in 2050 if the current rising trend of obesity is not reversed.

"It is part of the Government’s ongoing Change4Life campaign, which hopes to bring home to parents the message that obesity is an issue that affects EVERYONE not just those whose kids currently look overweight.

"The Government's Foresight report reported that if we do nothing, nine in ten (90%) of today’s children will be overweight or obese by 2050 and at risk from serious diseases such as type II diabetes, cancer and heart disease."

The Change4Life campaign suggests kids walk, play and cycle to prevent themselves becoming overweight or unhealthy,

Its website  says: "Cycling is a great alternative to the car or bus, and can be much more convenient too – no waiting around, no traffic jams or parking problems, and no parking charges either.

"You don’t even need to have somewhere to get to, just getting the kids out for a bike ride is a great fun activity. Just make sure they are careful and wear a helmet."

Will parents take heed and get their kids on two wheels? Or will oft publicised fears of youngsters being involved in cycling accidents put paid to the Government's efforts? Only time will tell...

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