Challenging child obesity

BMI of over 30 is a significant contributor to why so many people have died unnecessarily in the Covid-19 pandemic. Obesity is usually caused by overeating and moving too little. Consuming high amounts of energy, particularly fat and sugars, without burning it off through exercise or physical activity, means the body stores surplus energy as fat, leading to type 2 diabetes. Yet, becoming obese doesn‚’t happen over-night; this imbalance occurs over time.

It is a worrying fact that Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England (2020), found the majority of all adults are overweight or obese at 67% for men and 60% for women while 20% of Year 6 children were classified as obese.

When I was at primary school 50 years ago, everyone walked to and from school. The day began with some exercise to be energised ready to study. Break times encouraged running and skipping games and every afternoon had a physical activity such as netball, football, rounders etc. Once a week, we learnt to cook easy healthy meals. Child obesity was unheard of. Reverting to these simple activities with school children provides an opportunity to reverse these startling obesity rates.

The majority of children attend a school within the catchment area and therefore, should walk. It generates exercise twice a day for the child and parent, and less traffic and fumes around the school gates. Alternatively, a ‚’walking bus‚’ could be introduced by the school. Starting the day with exercise would gain greater concentration levels, break times provide an excellent opportunity to burn off calories, group physical activity to create teamwork and learning to cook healthy recipes would generate good eating habits for the future. Thereby reducing childhood obesity and the health problems it creates later in life, which then puts pressure on the NHS.




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