In the next of our blogs in response to the interim findings we look at what in being done to improve healthy living and encourage you to lead a healthier life.
Your feedback told us that you felt more could be done to prevent health problems arising and that you need more support to change unhealthy behaviour and to take more responsibility for your own health and well- being. You recognised that this would require a culture shift and increased education and information about how to make the right choices. Most of your comments related to healthy eating, physical activity.
More needs to be done to help people to be more active, more often, but we are seeing some progress. Walking is one of the most popular ways to be active and the number of people walking for recreation has increased over the last few years, with 64% of adults participating in recreational walking in 2014 compared to 56% in 2007 (Scottish Household Survey, 2015).
The Scottish Government has invested £58 million in cycling and walking projects to get people to make more active travel choices. The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, which aims to get people making more everyday journeys in Scotland by bike, and the National Walking Strategy are already making an impact with cycle and walking networks being extended across Scotland.
This work has taken another step forward with the launch of the Action Plan to support the Walking Strategy being published on 3 March. This Plan highlights the difference everyone can make in helping Scotland to become a walking friendly country.
Additionally, almost £3 million is being invested on physical activity projects, including those aimed at specific groups furthest away from meeting physical activity guidelines, such as older adults and teenage girls.
Investment in a whole school approach has contributed to an increase in children’s activity levels. This includes the commitment to provide two hours or periods of PE, supporting the development of the school estate, and continuing to support the Active Schools and Active Girls programmes. These have contributed to the number of children meeting the physical activity guidelines of being active for at least 60 minutes per day increasing in recent years (76% in 2014, up from 71% in 2008) whilst reducing the gender gap.
To provide more and better places to be active, we remain on track to deliver 150 Community Sport Hubs across all local authorities by 2016, with 50% based in schools. To date, a total of 142 Community Sport Hubs are in place. Local communities have the opportunity to influence and shape the development of these hubs to ensure they respond to local needs and optimise the use of available facilities and resources.
£1.6m of legacy funding will continue to be invested this year to maintain momentum and continue to capitalise on the inspiration that the Commonwealth Games have provided. £800,000 of this is being used for the Legacy 2014 Physical Activity Fund, aimed at building on current good practice in local communities and scaling this up to impact on many more people, with a particular focus on inactive groups.
The Scottish Government has invested over £10m in the four years to 2016 on projects to encourage healthy eating. This includes the Healthy Living Award. Across Scotland there are currently over 700 healthy living award holders. A large number of these award holders are open to the public with over 250000 people eating in an establishment with the health living award every day including high street delis to museum cafes; from student refectories to top quality hotels, the number of businesses with the award is building.
Our Eat Better Feel Better www.eatbetterfeelbetter.co.uk campaign aims to help and encourage healthy eating and has seen fantastic results to date in terms of public engagement. The website and Facebook page continue to grow, with over 190,000 visits to the Eat Better Feel Better website and 18,360 followers on Facebook.