Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kids not as healthy as parents think

The title of this post is the same title of an article in the USA Today on April 13th. The article went on to quote survey results from the YMCA's Family Health Snapshot. When parents were asked if they were providing a healthy home environment for their families, 9 out of 10 parents responded a resounding yes. As the survey dug deeper with more specific questions they found that was not the case.

Health guidelines state that children should have a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 79% of parents admitted that their kids do not get 60 minutes of physical activity per day and only 14% said their kids eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 62% of parents stated that their kids eat junk food one to four times per week.

What were some of the obstacles parents felt they faced in making a healthy home environment? Technology - social networks, TVs, cell phones, video games and computers. This is a new age for parents. They were not sitting in front of computers after school when they were children and sometimes they have a difficult time in breaking the cycle for their kids. There are ways to break the cycle though. I realize parents are tired when they come home from a full day at work and kids have lots of homework that need to be completed but health has to be a priority.

After dinner, go for a walk or play ball in the backyard. Summer is coming so try to get outside with the kids. If they want non school related time on the computer, set up a program for them to earn that time. For every 30 minutes of physical activity they can have 15 minutes of computer or TV time. There is no reason to let our kids health decline into obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Take a stand for your kids! Let your kids see you making great health choices. Eat your vegetables and fruits, go for walks, dance around the house. Make great choices for yourself and your kids will follow.

Kids Matter!

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