ukactive’s relationship with Coca Cola GB


ukactive is the leading not-for-profit health body for the physical activity sector and works with anyone who has a role to play in getting more people, more active, more often. We have over 3,500 members, ranging from consumer brands to leading charities, researchers and leisure operators. Coca-Cola GB is but one of them.

The ukactive Research Institute provides evaluation of the ParkLives project run by Coca-Cola GB in partnership with local authorities and activity providers. It brings free activity sessions to parks across the UK. This partnership has given over 25,000 people access to free activity classes in local parks across the country.

Coca-Cola GB is also one of twenty two current members of ukactive’s Strategic Partner Group. ukactive supports Coca-Cola GB with its goal of getting one million people active by 2020 - helping the organisation to improve the impact of its physical activity offering through the provision of ukactive’s insight, expertise and stakeholder network.

Our position on public health issues has been consistent and unaffected by any outside influence. We have never disputed the importance of obesity as a public health concern for the UK. But we have also been unwavering in pointing out that obesity and physical inactivity are separate public health issues that need to be tackled as dual priorities of equal significance.

The reasons for this are clear. Nearly a third of people in the UK fail to achieve 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, classing them as physically inactive. Independent of weight, this puts them at risk of more than 20 chronic conditions, from heart disease and cancers to depression and dementia and contributes to nearly 37,000 deaths a year.

ukactive's former Chair, Fred Turok, stated that debate in Britain is fixated on obesity and that fatness and fitness should not be conflated. These are simply statements of fact - it is possible to have a high Body Mass Index (BMI) and good cardio-respiratory health and vice versa.

What Mr Turok also told Coca-Cola at one of the company's events in 2013 was that "tackling obesity predominantly requires better eating and balanced lifestyle". He was clear that the company could not achieve that by promoting physical activity. At our summit a few months later, Mr Turok stated clearly that obesity and diabetes need to be addressed through portion control, better quality food and reducing sugar intake. We stand by that view.

But the fact is that inactivity kills, even if you are thin. This is about a healthy overall lifestyle and measuring the fitness of your heart, not just the size of your waist.

Yours sincerely

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson

Chair, ukactive



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