Corporate responsibility for childhood physical activity promotion in the UK.
Sommaire de l'article
The alarming epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity at paediatric age urges societies to rise to the challenge of ensuring an active lifestyle. As one response to this, business enterprises are increasingly engaged in promoting sport and physical activity (PA) initiatives within the frame of corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, comparative analyses among industry sectors of CSR strategies for PA promotion with a particular focus on children are still lacking. This study aimed to explore (i) what are the CSR strategies for PA promotion adopted in different industry sectors and (ii) whether corporate engagement in promoting PA for children is supportive of children's rights to play and be physically active. Corporate pledges pertaining to CSR initiatives to promote PA were analysed. The hypothesis was that companies from different sectors employ different CSR strategies and that companies with a higher profile as regard to public health concerns for children tend to legitimate their action by adopting a compensatory strategy. Results show that the issue of PA promotion is largely represented within CSR commitments. CSR strategies for PA promotion vary across industry sectors and the adoption of a compensatory strategy for rising childhood obesity allows only a limited exploitation of the potential of CSR commitments for the provision of children's rights to play and be physically active. Actors within the fields of public health ethics, human rights and CSR should be considered complementary to develop mainstreaming strategies and improve monitoring systems of PA promotion in children.