London, Mar 6 (ANI): The British government has come up with a 1-million-pound scheme, in which kids as young as four will be made to fight the flab with a team of 1,000 lifestyle coaches.
Overweight primary school pupils will be drilled in exercise, which includes yoga, martial arts, cheerleading, acrobatics and breakdancing, during lunchtime or after-school classes.
Ministers are hoping the programme, launching in 1,100 schools, can recruit 20,000 children to tackle the nation's childhood obesity problem.
The unpaid coaches will work both with overweight youngsters and those who lack confidence in PE.
"Although childhood obesity is levelling off, we'll do all we can to support those children most at risk," the Daily Star quoted Public Health Minister, Gillian Merron, 50, as saying.
"Coaches will help them find a fun way on to the right track," she explained.
But Liberal Democrat education spokesman David Laws, 44, called the move a publicity stunt on March 5.
"This is just another expensive gimmick from a government which has run out of ideas," he said.
And Nick Seaton, of the Campaign For Real Education, called the scheme "a ridiculous waste of money".
"Children should play competitive sport rather than take part in politically correct activities," he stated.
A spokesman for the Fields In Trust group, which protects playing fields, said: "The best policy would be to ensure the availability of free, local outdoor spaces." (ANI)