Thursday, September 10, 1998 Published at 00:42 GMT 01:42 UK
Kids want fitness - the easy way
Many children do not take enough exercise
Children want a healthy lifestyle but do little to make themselves fit, according to a new survey.
More than 1,200 children aged between 11 and 16 were asked about their attitude towards health and fitness.
There were some encouraging signs that young people take health issues seriously.
Smoking was thought by most youngsters surveyed to be "uncool". Two-thirds thought the government should introduce tougher regulations, including a price increase and a ban on smoking in public places.
One-third thought the age at which youngsters can legally buy cigarettes should be raised to 18.
And more than half said they would like to see fruit and veg on sale at burger bars and fast food restaurants.
The survey also found:
Get fit scheme
The research was commissioned by the children's charity Barnardo's and pharmaceutical firm Glaxo Wellcome.
The two have joined forces to launch a £3m scheme to recruit young people to spread the message that a healthy lifestyle is a good idea to their peers.
It has the backing of health workers and government departments trying to encourage children to eat more healthily, keep away from cigarettes and do more exercise.
Sir Richard Sykes, chairman of Glaxo Wellcome, said: "The most important lesson from the survey is that young people don't want to be preached at.
"If we want to make a real difference to the health and fitness of this generation, then we need a fresh approach inspired by young people."
Tony Newman, acting head of research at Barnardo's, said he was encouraged by the attitude of young people.
"Clearly we were talking to a group of children who were very well informed," he said.
"They want to have a say in how to put health promotion programmes into action."