Getting Children Active To Help Tackle Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

 

As a woman who has been obese since early childhood, this subject is very close to my heart. When I had my children, my biggest fear was that they would end up obese like me.
I’m happy to say that so far, Kaycee and Ella are at a totally healthy weight for their age and size. I reckon they take after their dad; all through his early adult life, he was able to eat anything without gaining weight.

Aiden, on the other hand, is just like me; he’s struggled with his weight from an early age and it’s only down to cycling miles every day to college that he’s able to keep his weight down.

Exercise

In these days of technology, it’s hard to get children moving as much as they used to. A study commissioned by ESP Play found that even in P.E. at school, a time when you’d expect children to be on the move most of the lesson, 68% of the time the children are stationary.
How can this be?
I can’t remember my P.E. lessons very well (it’s been about 25 years since I was at school!) but I don’t remember being allowed to stand around that much!

Playtime

I remember playtime at junior school quite well. Some of the boys went to one playground to play football while the others would be on the other playground playing games like British Bulldog or What’s the time Mr. Wolf?

Some of the girls would join in of course.  Most of them, though, would spend their time gossiping and giggling in little groups, skipping or doing handstands and cartwheels. I could do handstands but I never mastered cartwheels! Being overweight meant I’d usually be sitting making daisy chains, instead.

children playing childhood obesity

Multi-skills play equipment

One of the most interesting aspects of the study showed that where schools had been fitted with multi-skills equipment, activity levels increased 7.5% and continued to increase throughout the research period.

I know if Kaycee and Ella had the choice between making daisy chains or climbing, sliding and swinging, they wouldn’t be making daisy chains!

If all schools installed play equipment, our children would naturally be getting more exercise every day they’re there.

playground play equipment

 

Playing your part as a parent

Schools can only do so much when it comes to the health of our children, though. As an obese parent, I know more than most the importance of good nutrition and exercise.
We need to be the first in line to make sure our children are getting their 5-a-day, not spending hours on screens and are getting outside in the fresh air.

 

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