Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fight Childhood Obesity - Our Kids Need More Play Time and Less Screen Time

According to a research study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (September 2004), the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years. The obesity rate for children aged 6-11 years has more than tripled over the last three decades. Appromixately nine million children over 6 years of age are considered obese.

The side effects of sedentary modern lifestyle have taken a toll on our children. According to the current alarmingly wide spreading rate, nearly half of kids in North and South America could be overweight by year 2010, up from about one-third in a recent study by International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. It's also spreading to other countries as well. Childhood obesity is like an epidemic and regarded as a national and world-wide priority.

You know that the more you watch TV, the less you exercise. According to another study from the Havard School of Public Health, people who spend more than four hours a day in front of the TV - the national average - are 47% less likelyy to accumulate the recommended 10,000 steps a day. Fitness expert Martica Heaner offers her advices and tips on keeping kids lean.

Our kids need more play time and less screen time!

MyActivity Pyramid is a physical acitivity guide for children ages 6 to 11 developed by health edcuators at the University of Missouri-Columbia Extention. The bottom level is the "Everyday Activies" where children should do as often as possible. The second level is "Active Aerobic and Recreational Activities" that children should do at least 3 to 5 times a week, such as sports, running, roller-blading and playground games. The next level is "Flexibility and Strength" that encompasses stretching, pushups, martial arts, or yoga, etc. Two to three times a week is recommended. The top level, hopefully close-to-nonexisting, is the "Inactivity" that should be cut down to a minimum.

The pyramid chart is downloadable from the University's website. It also has an accompanying activity log to help children chart their own activity, daily, weekly or monthly. It's a useful tool for school teachers and parents to help our children stay healthy and fit.

1 comment:

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