of the prevalence of obesity in the UK.
"Increasing numbers of people will require professional guidance in order to exercise effectively to prevent or combat obesity."
However Dr Mike Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance that represents PCTs, said that the college's aim was something that could happen "in an ideal world" where there was a surfeit of funding and it would benefit the area.
He said, "PCTs are cash-strapped, and so they must show that ideas are cost-effective. In the current climate, this is one idea among many priorities. The question will be how it relates to paying for cancer drugs recommended by Nice."
He said PCTs should be working to help the public recognize the benefits of exercise and sport through current staffing. Each PCT has different priorities. In the same way Whitehall can't prescribe what all PCTs should be doing, neither can the college in relation to sport and exercise."
Nigel Edwards, of the NHS Confederation that represents health service managers, said: "Primary care trusts have a wide range of priorities to address - particularly the need to achieve financial balance which the government has made clear is the top priority.
"Currently, initiatives to improve long-term health of communities compete for resources with day-to-day service provision.
"They should not be considered as alternatives as both are needed."
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