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Fit Fins


Mike ThomsonToday Reporter: Mike Thomson
Over the last few decades there has been a dramatic increase in high fat diets and sedentary lifestyles. Mike Thomson travelled to Finland to see what measures they have in place.

With the number of unhealthy Britons on the increase, can we learn from reforms in Finland? Secretary of State for Culture and Sport Tessa Jowell.
Exercising the huskies.

Exercising the Huskies.

Husky Racing

The Finnish Parliament

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Finnish landscape

Landscape at sunrise.
exercising with some weights

Byere Kannet is a personal fitness trainer.
swimming in Finland

87 year old Mia Kauppi takes regular icy dips.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport have been scouring the world to see how other countries are dealing with this problem.

Finland is one country which appears to have a public health campaign that is paying off. Latest figures suggest that 75% of the Finnish population take exercise (of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) and heart disease has been cut by 50%.

Many Fins are now members of Health Clubs, although cross-country ski-ing and ice-bathing are also popular activities. A healthier way to get around are by sledges which are pulled by Huskies. Hannu & Tiina Haapalainen from Koitti near Mikelle showed Mike how easy it is to get around.

Finland being the land of the fit – may come as a surprise to many people. The Fins have twice the rate of suicide death, compared to the average E.U rate. They are also renowned as heavy drinkers. This is of particular concern to the Finnish government, who are anticipating an increase in alcohol consumption. This is expected to happen when neighbouring Estonia joins the E.U. Cheap imports are expected to flood the market.

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