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National Fitness Survey

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any proposals to back up current epidemiological studies, known as the national fitness survey, to allow calibration of the survey tools, such as more accurate energy cost estimates; and if he will make a statement.

Some calibration of the survey tools is built into the national fitness survey proposals: for example repeatability studies will help to indentify errors associated with the physical tests. On the specified point about energy cost estimates, estimates are already published which will be applied to the survey data collected, and while some of these figures are in need of revision they will nevertheless enable reasonable estimates to be made. Producing more accurate energy cost estimates would require small intensive studies which could be undertaken at any time, the results of which could be applied retrospectively to the national fitness survey data. The Department has no plans at the moment to commission such work, but the national fitness survey team hopes that the survey itself will inspire such studies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the level of industrial and commercial sponsorship of the national fitness survey; and if he will make a statement.

The national fitness survey is being financed jointly by the Department of Health, the Health Education Authority and the Sports Council. Negotiations are continuing with potential commercial sponsors in order to extend the size of the survey to provide accurate analyses of data to regional level.