Let’s Talk: Should schools test students on their fitness in order to fight obesity? 40

Let's Talk


View Profile

Australia’s obesity epidemic is reaching biblical proportions as more and more children and young adults are becoming overweight. 25 per cent of children aged 2-16 are considered obese in Australia, and are a ticking time bomb according to experts.

It’s now leading to calls for primary school students to be tested on their fitness ability in order to encourage physical activity. 60 minutes is the recommended amount of play or sport every day for children, yet so many are not getting anywhere near this thanks to the advent of smartphones and computer games.

According to British charity UK Active, there is a lack of enforcement around how much physical activity children are getting every day and they are calling for primary schools to test pupils’ fitness just like they would Maths or English.

Their report into today’s children found that these obese kids will have a very high chance of becoming obese in the future, causing an unfathomable burden on the health care system.

The report said: ‘From an economic perspective, generation inactive will be huge drain on public resources and will contribute to a situation that is simply not sustainable for the future’.

According to CEO of NHS England, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, it was the parents’ responsibility for their children’s health.

“As a society, as parents, we are doing something terribly wrong in terms of the way in which we are supporting and bringing up the next generation, he said.

“And we know what that will mean – that will mean a rising tide of avoidable type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and cancer, because we now know that one in five cancers are caused by obesity, not to mention blindness and amputations”.

Professor Russell Viner of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, told Daily Mail, “A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t just mean a child could be overweight, it is an issue that can affect a child’s entire life, from poor concentration levels impacting on life chances post school, and increased risk of emotional and well-being issues like depression, right through to developing life-long medical conditions”.


So we want to know what you think today: Should children be marked on their fitness?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’m a single dad, i lost my wife years back, i want to love again and also want to get married, any woman interested in me should add me. My plan is to go on a tour with my family

  2. Have noticed a lot of over weight children walking with over weight parents so it should be treated as a family issue and the parents get the advice and guidance by a dietician which should to be implemented via the right source.

  3. with the rise in child obesity,marriage breakdowns,rising sporting insurance.,stranger danger…the majority of modern kids seem to find it easier to sit infront of the screen….major lack of meaningful exercise – kids dont stand a chance unless those around them incorporate exercise with diet as a life style…not a fad..!

  4. You can’t be serious!!!! Teachers have enough to deal with. This is 100% a parenting issue. How many kids of this age buy the food at home??? Lazy parenting, and at its extreme a form of child abuse!! Start charging the parents, no benefits of any kind till they do their job. Too easy to buy take away and all forms of junk food and buy a I Pad or X Box, no encouragement to play outside or ” heaven forbid, ” go for a walk, play in the park or go bike riding as a family.
    Rant over!! But I feel Very strongly about this.

    1 REPLY
    • Well said Joy.

      1 REPLY
      • Yes Joy, the parenting issue certainly has a lot to do with the problem. Not having enough time is not a good enough excuse any more especially when you consider the long term ramifications.

  5. 1. Some people have medical conditions which cause obesity – in their case, it’s nothing to do with what they eat or what they do.
    2. Some children are simply not cut out for sporty activities, no matter how much it may be forced on them.
    By all means, promote healthy eating and lifestyle, but don’t be like a “radio doctor” I once heard (a professional medic with a regular radio spot) who described ALL obese people as “continually eating.”
    He, of all people, should have known better.

    1 REPLY
    • being a surf lover….as a last resort for people struggling with weight and exercise i recommend going to your local pool and do water walking…its getting very popular..and gets you out of the house…and you may even meet new friends..!

  6. No, teachers are there to teach. They are not health experts or GPs so should mind their own business. Without meaning to it could bring discrimination into the classroom and bullying into the playground. Children have enough to deal with already in their school day without being picked on for their weight. There are other avenues available through our local councils and gp clinics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *