19 August 2016

The government’s much-delayed obesity strategy has had a lukewarm welcome by the Association of Play Industries (API) for its lack of bold, brave measures, as heralded by David Cameron before his departure.

Mark Hardy, API Chair, says: “We are bitterly disappointed that no policy action has been taken to improve opportunities and facilities for children to play and be physically active in their local communities. Families tell us that they want their children to be physically active, but many are unhappy at the dwindling state of local play facilities.

On the soft drinks levy for producers and importers, the API is more positive:

“We welcome the levy and hope the revenue generated will enable every primary school to increase opportunities and improve their facilities for physical activity. However, we believe the government should replace the Sport and PE Premium with a broader Physical Activity Premium. This would extend the reach and impact of funding, and encourage schools to think beyond the limits of sport and PE lessons. There are many ways for children to be physically active, with outdoor learning, play and gardening just some of the ways to get children moving more throughout the school day. The strategy’s healthy rating scheme for primary schools may also help encourage this wider approach to tackling physical inactivity.”

Measures to ban the advertising of junk food to children and retail promotions on unhealthy products, and to improve food and drink labeling on sugar content were not included, fuelling concerns that lobbying by the food and drink industry may have been effective.

The API campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the value of play, both in its own right and as a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for a Fit and Healthy Childhood, Children’s Play Policy Forum and Federation of Sports and Play Associations.

For further information about the Association of Play Industries, contact: Deborah Holt, API Association Manager, tel: 024 7641 4999 or email


API Media Contact: Julie Parmenter, Elephant Creative, T: 01981 251820 / 07775 715936 e:

Notes to editors:
The Association of Play Industries (API) is the lead trade body within the play sector and campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition of the, representing the interests of the manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984 the API currently has 65 members. Follow us on Twitter: @apiplay

The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), the national trade body responsible for representing 14 Associations in the UK’s sport and play industries.