Families could benefit from a range of rewards if they meet exercise targets under radical new NHS proposals.
Money off weekly food shops, free bikes and outdoor public gyms are all plans being discussed.
Brits will track their activity levels with apps and those who hit ‘step targets’ could be rewarded with supermarket discounts, under the new plans.
Meanwhile free bikes, sports gear, outdoor cinema tickets and sprinting tracks on pavements could also be piloted with the aim of preventing sedentary lifestyles.
Two-thirds of adults and one-third of 11-year-olds in Britain are currently overweight (stock image)
Britain’s soaring obesity rates are among the worst in Europe and the Government has been criticised repeatedly for failing to act.
Two-thirds of adults and one-third of 11-year-olds are overweight, greatly increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and diabetes.
And one in five children starting primary school is obese or overweight, rising to one in three by the time they leave.
NHS officials have examined schemes introduced by health insurers, including 25 per cent discounts off weekly Ocado shops, which are offered to customers who hit monthly exercise targets.
The ideas are part of an NHS policy to create 10 ‘Healthy New Towns’, which are piloting new ways to encourage more active living.
Stats show that walking levels have fallen by more than a third in three decades, with the average person now walking for less than 10 minutes each day.
Free bikes, sports gear, outdoor cinema tickets and sprinting tracks on pavements could also be piloted with the aim of preventing sedentary lifestyle
Some of the boldest plans could be piloted in Cheshire, where discounts, free bikes with new homes and sprinting tracks are under discussion.
And in Oxfordshire families are already being offered the chance to win Fitbits for competing in exercise challenges.
Steven Ward, chief executive of Ukactive aid, told The Telegraph: ‘The old approach to healthcare has left Britain lurching into a physical inactivity crisis which threatens to bankrupt the NHS.
‘Modern living has stripped movement out of our daily lives, so it’s time to rip up the rulebook for town planning and embrace innovative solutions to get people back on their feet.’
The NHS ideas under discussion
· Free bikes with all new homes
· Discounted supermarket shopping in reward for achieving a weekly step count
· Sprinting tracks marked out on ‘safe pavements’ connected to public gyms via urban obstacle courses
· Outdoor cinemas and community squares to encourage communities to socialise on foot
· Cooking lessons for local residents
The sites enrolled in the programme so far cover more than 76,000 homes across England, in Whitehill and Bordon in Hampshire, Cranbrook in Devon, a new development in Darlington, Barking Riverside in London, Halton Lea in Runcorn, Cheshire, Whyndyke Farm in Fylde, Lancashire, a new community in Bicester, Oxfordshire, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, Ebbsfleet Garden City in Kent and Barton Park in Oxford.
NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens, said: ‘If there’s to be a much needed wave of new housebuilding across England, let’s ‘design-in’ health from the start.
‘These practical designs for Halton point the way, uniting young and old in in thinking through the sort of communities we want for the future.
‘The NHS makes no apologies for weighing in with good ideas on how the how the built environment can encourage healthy towns and supportive neighbourhoods.’