School exclusion zones proposed
- Child obesity linked to school run
- One hour of extra walking a week required
- Changes would reduce CO2 emissions, too
Car exclusion zones should be set up around schools to help combat obesity, according to a new report.
The London-based Institute for European Environmental Policy has highlighted the over-use of cars for the twin problems of obesity and global warming.
Researchers found that car-owning families walked on average for one hour a week, half as much as those without any vehicle.
By banning cars from around schools, it estimated it would raise the average walking time to two hours per person.
It claims that this would instil good habits into early children early on, reduce average weight by two stone in a decade and save 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
The report's lead author, Dr Adrian Davis, said: 'The substitution of car use for walking is a major contributor to the steep rise in obesity, because walking is the most obvious way for most people to burn calories.
'A small daily reduction in walking over a decade or more has a profound and damaging impact on body weight.'
Other findings in the report included the discovery that 40% of all journeys in the UK are less than two miles and that 38% of these journeys are currently made by car.
Typically, it takes 30 minutes of brisk walking to cover two miles.
In addition to exclusion zones around schools, the report also called for the Government to make Britain's streets more attractive to walk on.
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