Creating healthier cities for children was the topic of Tuesday’s Uppsala Health Summit, and Prince Daniel gave an impassioned speech about getting kids to be more active, along with news about his organisation Generation Pep.
“Why is it, that we can’t seem to promote a healthy lifestyle for our children that is both achievable and sustainable for all?” he said at the conference.
“I feel hopeful that after this summit we will have ideas for action plans and strategies to offer to society, to politicians, entrepreneurs and schools, so that everyone will be aware of the importance of creating environments that allow, enable and inspire children to move and be more physically active.”
The two-day event was held at Uppsala Castle for those working on health issues in research, industry, civil society, politics, healthcare, and the public sector. Prince Daniel shared that children’s health was a topic close to his heart, “and it’s without a doubt a topic of great importance and an issue that is not getting the attention it deserves.”
“We all know, and we have heard it many times, that co-operation is key to solving the great challenges of today. Everyone has to contribute,” Prince Daniel said. “And I think we all have ideas and a clear picture of what others should do. I definitely do … But we also need to ask ourselves: what am I doing?”
“This question was one of the main reasons why the Crown Princess and I took the initiative to start the organisation Generation Pep in the summer of 2016. We wanted to create a movement that could not only put the issue of children’s physical health on the agenda but also inspire companies, organisations, leaders, and individuals to act and be part of the change.”
“Today, three years later, I am happy to say that we have taken steps in the right direction. Over 1100 schools are now registered in Pep School, a digital tool that helps schools work with physical activity and healthy food on an everyday basis. We have more than 300 organisations and companies that have dedicated themselves to our vision.”
“However, we are still far from reaching our goal – that every child in Sweden should have the motivation and opportunity to have a healthy lifestyle. That is why we need to step it up and create a full-grown movement where we reach every parent and every child in Sweden with our message.”
Prince Daniel went on to say that parents are scared for their children to ride bikes to school because of safety issues, but instead of communities solving these problems and creating safer cycling lanes, children ride a bus. He called on those in the audience – “some of the world’s most brilliant minds on children’s health and urban planning” – for answers.
“Almost every day people are protesting around the globe to demand action to save our planet,” he said. “This is super inspiring. Imagine if we could create the same awareness and action regarding our health. Then, we might have the chance, not only to save our planet but also ourselves.”