The end of the school year comes with a mixed bag of feelings for most kids. Whether it’s the fear of exam results, excitement about the summer holidays or the apprehension behind progressing to a higher form of education or a completely new vocation - it’s all pretty hectic. On the other hand, the beginning of the school year can be full of much optimism and joy for kids and parents alike. New challenges; New teachers; New activities; All great stuff but one school report is in already and it doesn’t make for light reading. The question here though is, who is getting the bad grades and why? For once, it’s the parents in the spotlight.
A recent report from the BBC News Magazine appearing in the news today has shown that the start of this new school year has kicked off with a dramatic increase in the request for extra-large uniforms for primary school children.
Just over 33% of 11-year-olds are now overweight or obese and among four and five-year-olds it’s 22%, according to the most recent figures from the National Child Measurement Programme, which assesses the height and weight of primary children in England (Winterman 2012). With the health risks for obese children higher than previously estimated, the emphasis and care parents need to show their children has risen more than what is being offered at this present moment in time. With the new research published today by the University of Oxford also suggesting that obese children and adolescents have several risk factors for heart disease, including raised blood pressure and cholesterol, compared with normal weight children.
A multitude of complexities exist when it comes to parents tackling the problems of children and their weight. They range from a lack of education about food, limited cooking skills and limited money to buy healthier food to longer working hours and marketing campaigns for junk food aimed at kids.
Kidding Around: Children and Exercise is a wonderful article that explores ways of combating the sedentary lives that more children tend to live these days. With children today having a higher percent body fat and also being considerably less fit and active than children of the 1960s, it is up to parents to fight back against this consumption-driven society and help our kids to live healthier and more productive lives.