Schools will always have a huge role to play in ensuring pupils fit to learn

National children's charity concerned study does not acknowledge the wider benefits of physical activity in schools

The Youth Sport Trust has responded to a study released today on the effectiveness of a childhood obesity programme delivered through schools.

Responding to the British Medical Journal study Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

Our own programmes have evidenced how sport and physical activity can help young people to achieve more both in and out of the classroom. We want to ensure they are not just physically fit – but also mentally fit and healthy, setting them up with future leadership and life skills.

For example, our delivery of the Change4Life Primary Sports Clubs programme got 41,000 additional children active and meeting national recommended levels of physical activity, with continued club participation outside of school time.

This research in the British Medical Journal will play an important part in helping to find an approach that works. However, we are concerned that the focus of this study does not acknowledge the wider benefits of physical activity in schools and how it can also help to combat declining mental wellbeing among young people.

It is important that schools’ roles in tackling obesity through activity is not treated in isolation to these wider benefits of getting children active. We believe that schools have a huge role to play in ensuring that pupils are healthy and fit to learn.

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