Britain to Fight Fat in 'Fit Towns'

Government would broaden eco-friendly schemes to address health concerns
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 4:56 PM CDT
In this Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2007, file photograph, trays of carrot and celery sticks with low-fat ranch dip, orange slices and beef hot dogs with whole wheat buns sit in the cafeteria at Columbus Elementary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In light of dire predictions about the cost of the obesity crisis, England wants 10 previously planned eco-friendly towns to also combat obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles, the Guardian reported today. Among the proposals: more bike lanes; safe walking routes to school and the downtown area; larger and more modern parks, playgrounds and leisure centers.

So-called fit towns would also feature readily accessible general practitioners' offices, regular weigh-ins for kids after primary school and school programs encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise from a young age. The plan is modeled on 10 French towns that have been successful in cutting childhood obesity with comprehensive approaches.