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  1. ITV Report

Schools take on 'Daily Mile' in fight against childhood obesity

Thousands of children across the East have been running a 'Daily Mile' as schools join the campaign to get youngsters active.

It comes as hospital admissions for obesity-related health problems rocket - up by 18% last year.

Forty years ago, an average 11-year-old boy would have had a chest size of around 27 inches and today it's 31 inches. Waist sizes have expanded too - up from 24 inches to 27.5 inches.

Exercise aligned to diet is key and schools are being encouraged to get their pupils to walk or run a mile every day.

We've been to schools in Essex and Stevenage to see how the scheme is making a difference.

"When the children first started it was a struggle. Many didn't complete the mile in the 15 minutes. Now some of them will do it in 8 minutes. They love being able to run around with their friends, and play. I think they enjoy the fact they're getting fit."

– Sue Twaites, Weathersfield Primary School