British children are among the least active in the world, and fitness levels are plummeting, a damning international study has found. Experts said the results were alarming, showing that movement was being “stripped out” of modern lifestyles, with children weaned on screen-time and starved of outdoor activity.

On Sunday night Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, called for radical changes in family routines, describing exercise as a “magic pill” which would be a “pharmaceutical blockbuster” if only it could be bottled. Research comparing 38 counties across the globe placed England, Scotland and Wales among the worst for physical activity.

Overall, England and Wales were both scored D minus, the third worst grade in the rankings, while Scotland was joint worst, with a grade of F. The rankings, produced by a global alliance of health experts, show the UK lagging far behind a host of countries, including Poland, Slovenia, and Venezuela, when it comes to children’s fitness. Read more here.

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