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Cycling can help tackle obesity epidemic, says British Cycling

Cycling can help tackle obesity epidemic, says British Cycling

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Greater investment in getting more people to cycle regularly would help solve Britain’s obesity crisis, British Cycling’s Director of Recreation and Partnership told a health conference in Manchester yesterday.

Above: Weights and measures: British Cycling's Recreation and Partnerships director Stewart Kellett weighs up cycling's role in tackling Britain's obesity epidemic. (Photo credit: chrisinplymouth / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA)

Stewart Kellett, British Cycling’s lead on increasing cycling participation, talked about the success of British Cycling’s partnership with Sky, Sport England and local authorities to get one million more people cycling, and said that this model could be applied nationwide to make health service savings.

Speaking about the health benefits of cycling, Stewart said:

“The UK has an obesity epidemic and it is costing the tax payer over £5 billion every year. Previous attempts to address this have failed and the problem is on such a scale now that it is clear that large scale solutions are needed. And that's where British Cycling come into the debate as we offer a solution."

"The UK has an obesity epidemic and it is costing the tax payer over £5 billion every year. Previous attempts to address this have failed and the problem is on such a scale now that it is clear that large scale solutions are needed. And that's where British Cycling come into the debate as we offer a solution."

Stewart Kellett, British Cycling Recreation and Partnerships Director

“Whilst the problem is attributed to changes in lifestyles and the environment we live in, it essentially down to what we eat and how much we exercise. British Cycling has already shown that it can inspire people to make healthier and more rewarding choices. In partnership with BskyB and over 45 Local Authorities, we’ve worked together to inspire over one million people to get on a bike and attract more people into cycling and raising activity levels. Our fun, family-orientated, mass participation events, local led rides for all abilities and levels of fitness, and local support from our Ride Leaders, have given us the right tools to support public health gains across the UK.”

Kellett quoted the latest guidelines on commissioning 'cycling for health' from NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) to help the new Health and Well Being Boards choose cycling interventions that can work locally and can be sustained through British Cycling’s national campaign. He quoted the strengths of having BSkyB as a marketing partner to reach 11 million homes and convert cycling interest into cycling activity using fun, socialising and better health as the main drivers to get involved.

For more information on partnering with British Cycling to tackle inactivity, delivering sustainable programmes that get results and advise on cycling for health, please contact debrabrown@britishcycling.org.uk

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