Went to the Scottish Executive's Health and Physical Activity Council meeting in Edinburgh today along with Pat our Principal Advisor in Scotland.
The initiatives they are undertaking fill me with a lot of pride, they kicked off the School Meals changes with 'Hungry for success', long before Jamie Oliver had even thought about turkey twizellers and they are now taking the lead with regard to the physical activity agenda. Having said all of this you have to recognise that we didn't get our 'sickman of Europe' tag because of our dietary precision, physical perfection or accomplishment at doing all things in moderation. Starting from a low point is something that Scots have an aptitude for, we are always do our best when considered the underdog.
Having said all of that I think the new Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament takes the type of approach required to make generational change. The proposals to place a duty on schools to become health promoting environments mean that this will become ingrained in the very ethos and culture of the school rather than only in the canteen or gym. This will also be measured to assess performance.
The Civil Servants are really getting their act together in this area and the conceptual framework Matt Lowther is pulling together is the correct approach. Of course I would say that as APSE are playing an important role in this.