Sport England plans campaign to tackle UK obesity problem

Sport England, the body responsible for promoting the Government's sporting objectives, has shortlisted four unnamed agencies to develop a national anti-obesity campaign.

Sport England, which is responsible for distributing National Lottery funding to sports organisations, is launching the communications strategy and advertising campaign to tackle the increasing problem of obesity by promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The campaign is part of the body's long-term strategy to get at least 75 per cent of the population "active" by 2020 in some form of fitness programme or by participating in a sport.

The campaign, which is earmarked to kick-off in April, will initially be tested in the Newcastle region and, subject to its success, will be rolled out nationally.

The need for action to battle the problem of the bulge associated with modern lifestyles was highlighted last June in a government report that showed that the number of Britons affected by obesity had tripled in the past 20 years.

Sport England is accountable to Parliament through the secretary of state for culture, media and sport. The organisation's remit is jointly funded by the Exchequer and the National Lottery.

Sport England, which has a headquarters in London and nine regional offices, was previously known as the English Sports Council before a restructure in 1997.