Walking the way forward to tackling obesity

Health walk

A Walking for Health health walk

We responded to an article in the Guardian which focussed on how what we eat is contributing to the nation’s obesity levels, highlighting the need for increased physical activity to truly tackle the problem.

The article, published on Monday 18 February, exposed how our eating habits are having an adverse effect on our health following a report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which also outlined measures to reverse the ‘obesity crisis’.

The measures include a 20% tax on sugary soft drinks, limiting the number of fast food outlets near schools, improving the nutritional standards of food served to patients and staff in hospitals and better advice for new parents on feeding babies.

With only scant reference to how physical inactivity is contributing to obesity, Simon Barnett, Director of Walking Programmes and Promotions at the Ramblers, wrote to the Guardian to stress the nation’s inactivity levels and advocate walking as an accessible way to transform sedentary lifestyles.

“The most likely way to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity is through walking” said Simon. “Almost everyone, regardless of fitness level, age or finances, can step out of their front door and start walking.”

Simon also recommended programmes such as Walking for Health, England’s national network of health walk schemes which has been hosted by the Ramblers since April 2012, which ‘create a supportive, friendly space to walk with like-minded people’.

To read Simon’s full letter and other responses to the Guardian’s article visit www.guardian.co.uk or find out more about how Ramblers projects including Walking for HealthLet’s Walk Cymru and Take 30 are helping walkers in Britain live healthier and more active lifestyles.

Cotswold Outdoor