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IOL Blog - Comment from the Institute


Obesity and the outdoors

Published on 22 August 2016

Obesity and the outdoors

The recently published Westminster government's plan to tackle childhood obesity contains some encouraging elements that encourage regular exercise.  The response of the press though has largely been around the responsibilities of the food and drinks industry and the retailers. Surely the debate should be about why people don't adopt healthy lifestyles and not how much tax should be levied on sugary drinks. It's worth reading what is a fairly short paper on the plan to tackle childhood obesity.

The Institute will be responding to the associated consultation.  If you have strong views you want represented let me know.  If you want to explore this further catch me at the IOL National Conference in October.

I have enjoyed watching elite athletes in Rio demonstrate what is possible when time, energy, significant resources and great expertise is applied in a really focused way.  The turnaround in team GB's fortunes has been very impressive.  Turning around obesity trends is of a completely different order of magnitude!  I'm clear that our outdoor learning community has an important role to play, working with children through schools, youth groups and families.  This is a clear opportunity to demonstrate how helping children adopt healthy lifestyles is what we're really good at.  Regardless of the direct contact time between you and children in the outdoors, what approach are you taking to make sure everyone understands how the outdoors can work?  More importantly are we really facilitating the adoption of healthier lifestyles or simply providing a one-off experience?

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Author: Andy Robinson

Categories: IOL Blog, Outdoor learning outcomes


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