11:50 10 December 2013
A report released by British Journal of Sports medicine revealed that one in three youngsters who are about to start middle school are obese.
The study claims that this is the result of lack of national policy to ensure children are active enough.
The researchers, which include Sam Allardyce, Richard Weiler, Gregory Whyte and Emmanuel Stamatakis, who are experts in the worlds of sports and medicine, say that regular exercise in childhood is crucial as it helps boost academic performance and curb anti-social behaviour.
Despite this, only 1/3 of boys and ¼ of girls meet the minimum recommended daily physical activity levels.
The authors say: "Despite the well-accepted benefits of physical activity and the recognised importance of schools in delivering the crucial physical literacy and activity opportunities, the erosion of physical education in schools combined with ever-reducing play facilities has the opposite effect.
"Worse, the amount of school curriculum time children spend in physical education and activity is neither monitored nor known by any educational or regulatory authorities.
"And there is no statutory minimum requirement for schools to devote a specific amount of time to physical education."
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