Pupils should stand or squat at their desks, celebrity GP says

A group of health campaigners, led by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, has called for pupils to be given standing desks

Adi Bloom

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A group of health campaigners, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, has called for pupils to stand at their desks during the school day, in order to tackle obesity.

Oliver is one of a group of TV chefs, MPs and health experts in talks with the prime minister’s office about tackling obesity among children. The group includes TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and GP Dr Rangan Chatterjee, of BBC 1’s health-advice series Doctor in the House.

Dr Chatterjee said: “I want to see standing desks in schools as normal. I also want to encourage children to squat, rather than sit.”

He told The Sunday Times that sitting for six hours a day was bad for children’s backs, as well as their weight.

Fizzy breakfast

The newspaper also reported that a government pledge to halve childhood obesity by 2026 – dropped last year – was now back on the table.

Last week, Tes reported that Jamie Oliver has called on the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to ban under-16s from buying energy drinks

Schools have taken steps to ban them, but research shows that one in 20 children has one for breakfast. And 41 per cent of Scottish 13 to 15-year-olds buy a sugary drink – including fizzy and energy drinks – on their lunch break. 

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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