58% of Parents Overweighed

Physical activity is low on parents’ priority list and the consequences are shocking: 58% of parents in Germany are overweighed or even obese. Especially dads are especially bad role models: the survey by the AOK health insurance showed that 72% of the dads are overweighed. These results are particularly worrying as parents have a large influence on children’s eating and activity behaviour. It therefore does not come as a surprise that 21% of all children between 3 and 17 years are overweighed. The biggest factor is the lack of physical activity: only 28% of all parents take time for a sport or a fitness programme. And only 10% of children are as physically as recommended by the WHO. One reason is the increasing use of media: 59% of the four to six year olds use media longer than the maximum recommended 30 minutes.

Especially for children, sport and physical activity is important to develop good motor skills and to learn about momentum, balance, and gravity. The German “ Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft” (work association) offers hands-on advice for parents to help their children be more active:

Most children find walking boring, so why not let them use a scooter, inline skates, bikes or kick-boards.
Do you remember the good old games you played on the playground: walking on stilts, hide and seek, sack racing or boccia, double dutch or Chinese jump rope?
Allow kids to walk on low walls, jump over rocks and stones, jump from stairs and squirm through posts. Parents who are worried their child might get injured, do not help their children’s skills by stopping them from activity. Allowing children to be physically active increases their skill level and lower their accident risk.
Buy a small indoor trampoline or invest in foam elements for indoor physical activity on rainy days.

PS: you think these numbers are exaggerated? The survey included about 5000 parents. According to experts, most people underestimate their weight and their level of physical activity, so the actual numbers could be even higher.

Posted on July 04, 2018 by Luitgard Holzleg

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