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The government is planning to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in Britain by broadening its plan for eco towns and turning them into healthy or fit towns, the Guardian has revealed.

The health secretary, Alan Johnson, believes it makes sense that 10 eco towns already being planned by the government should now be built and designed to confront the UK’s obesity crisis, drawing on pioneering schemes already producing results in Australia, France and Finland.

Practical measures in new healthy towns being considered by ministers include:

- Regular weigh-ins for children starting as they leave primary school, including the recording of body mass indexes

- Increasing the number of cycle lanes - Designing safe walking routes to schools and from suburbs into the centre

- Programmes in schools to inspire children to eat happily, avoid fast food outlets, learn to cook and play sport from a young age - Ensuring GP practices are on the high street so more people can use them

- Larger parks, modern playgrounds and improved leisure centres

Photograph courtesy of Sport England

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The government is planning to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in Britain by broadening its plan for eco towns and turning them into healthy or fit towns, the Guardian has revealed.
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