Achieve & maintain a healthy weight

• Physical activity helps you control your weight by using excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Most foods you eat contain calories, and everything you do uses calories, including sleeping, breathing, and digesting food. • Balancing the calories you eat with the calories you use through physical activity will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. • Physical activity may include structured activities such as walking, running, football, or other sports. It may also include daily activities such as household chores, gardening or walking the dog. • Under 5’s should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (3 hours). The more the better. This should be spread throughout the day, including playing outdoors. • The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping. • Active play, such as using a climbing frame, riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games, is the best way for this age group to get moving. • Children under 5 should not be inactive for long periods, except when they're asleep. Watching TV, travelling by car, bus or train, or being strapped into a buggy for long periods are not good for a child's health and development.

Action across the child life course is essential to impact childhood obesity and enable positive behaviour change around eating and activity. The focus should be on: preconception and pregnancy infancy and early childhood older childhood and adolescence transition into independent adulthood.

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