Wales

Electric bikes 'may combat child obesity in Conwy county'

Electric bike Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Electric bikes include a battery-operated motor to boost the pedal power of the cyclist

Electric bikes could hold the key to helping overweight children get fit, say leisure staff.

They have reported "significant improvements" in a scheme to boost the health of obese adults, attracted to e-bikes by the battery-operated motor.

Conwy's cabinet is being asked to match-fund £5,000 to buy five child-size e-bikes for use across the county.

Officers said nearly one in three Conwy children is overweight or obese, one of the highest rates in Wales.

Conwy's junior cycling project - which worked with more than 500 youngsters last year - is looking to get even more children active, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A report to be considered by council leaders on Tuesday said: "Having run a pilot project on a smaller scale within a local school using traditional bicycles, the evidence was clear that e-bikes can help those with weight management difficulties to engage in sport."

E-bikes could tempt overweight children to experience the outdoors by making it easier to ride up hills, while cutting the time they spent on video games and social media, the report added.

The hope is that such youngsters would eventually take up regular cycling without the need for motorised assistance.

The council's grants review group has recommended the cabinet back the project, saying the leisure development team would not be able to afford the junior e-bikes without the extra funding.

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