'EXERCISE EDUCATION' CUTS CHILD OBESITY
Lessons in how to lead a healthy lifestyle can help children lose weight
Children who received lessons in healthy eating and had an extra hour of compulsory PE per week gained 260g less body fat and the number of overweight school children within the study dropped from 13 to nine per cent. There was also a significant improvement in physical fitness levels of the pupils in the study.
Researchers also looked into teaching children messages about how to make healthy lifestyle choices, including cutting down time spent at the TV and computer, and decreasing the amount of sugary drinks consumed.
Children also had two five to seven minutes sessions of exercise per day, whilst letters were sent home to parents about how to help prevent weight gain.
Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum said that it was important that healthy messages were taught at key stages in child development.
‘The ages of six and eight are seen as risk points for weight gain in later life. It’s important that school interventions are followed up with the parents, as all the gains made at school can be negated if not followed at homes as well.
‘In the UK we have precious little education for parents about parenthood. Quite often parents don’t know what to teach their children because they weren’t taught it in the first place.’
One in three British school children is obese, with some parts of London including Tower Hamlets and Hackney having some of the worst child obesity levels in the UK.