Sport’s Vital Contribution to Help Reduce Obesity in Wales

A new strategy to help prevent and reduce obesity in Wales has been welcomed by Sport Wales.

The Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales strategy, launched today by Welsh Government, aims to tackle figures that show 60% (1.5 million) of the adult population is overweight or obese.

The document highlights some key areas for sport, including:

  • Better promotion of, and more opportunities to access, local green spaces and rights of way for recreation.
  • Physical activity routinely built into infrastructure and funding decisions, such as 21st Century Schools, health and social care sites, housing and regeneration.
  • Increased investment into high quality sport facilities and scaled support for communities to invest in community assets.
  • A range of goals around active travel.
  • A recognition of the importance of physical literacy and activity throughout the school environment, as well as the need to ensure schools are active environments.

kid jumping

Director of Community Engagement at Sport Wales, Graham Williams said:

"We welcome the launch of this new strategy and recognise the hugely important role physical activity has to play in this challenge.  As the Chief Medical Officer has said, we must help people to break old habits and create healthy new ones. Creating an active nation where everyone has a lifelong enjoyment of sport is a key aspect of delivering this strategy. Evidence shows us that those who are more physically active are also more likely to exhibit other healthy behaviours, such as with the nature of their food choices. Sport in itself is a significant tool in tackling obesity, but it is also something which can help deliver other aspects of the vision.

"The preventative agenda will be critical to this approach and engaging people early and often as to the benefits of physical activity, in an environment which is right for them, is an integral part of that.

"What is particularly positive is that there are clear commitments in the strategy around creating the right conditions to support healthier environments and people, including increased investment into high quality sport facilities and schools building daily physical activity into the school day. Developing a collaborative approach across the health, education, community and sport sectors to seize this opportunity will make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our nation."

To read the strategy:

https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2019-10/healthy-weight-healthy-wales_0.pdf