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Park scheme targets "lazy" patients

A Government initiative to tackle obesity will encourage doctors to tell patients to exercise in their nearest park.

People with inactive lifestyles will be given Let's Get Moving information packs, which contain a map of the local area highlighting sports facilities.

They will also receive advice on diet and how to reduce the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, as part of the initiative, which has been launched by the Department of Health (DH).

Doctors will check up on their progress after three and six months to try to encourage them to stick to a healthy regime.

The scheme is being piloted at GP surgeries in London, and is aimed at 16 to 74 year-olds with sedentary lifestyles.

Fitness Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "Physically active people are up to 50% less likely to be at risk of major chronic disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, yet almost three-quarters of adults do not achieve the recommended weekly amounts of physical activity."

The Government's Chief Scientist, Sir David King, has been carrying out a study into obesity for the past two years amid increasing concerns that more young people are overweight and carrying bad habits through to adulthood.

His Foresight Report is being published on Wednesday, and is expected to form the basis for a Whitehall strategy to combat the problem.

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Department of Health

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