In addition to eating habits, parents can also impact the amount of physical activity their children engage in. The increased prevalence of overweight children is a result of the dramatic decrease in youth physical activity. Nearly half of adolescents aged 12 to 21 years are not vigorously active on a regular basis and fourteen percent report no recent physical activity whatsoever. Physical activity should be the norm and should not be excluded from the lives of children. Instead of active games and activities, playtime has become a sedentary activity centered on video games, the Internet and television.
Could it be partly because children across the country are growing up in a school environment that does not provide daily outdoor recess and often only provides physical education one day per week? Could it be that working parents do not have any daylight left when they return home to supervise their children outdoors to play or to limit the amount of sedentary activities their kids engage in such as watching television or playing video games? It may be a combination of a lot of things, some of which are out of our control. One could argue that parenting in general is more complex than it has ever been because of the fast-paced, highly technological environment that our children are growing up in.
Solutions to these issues are possible, though they do take some effort. Making a choice to include strategies every day will go a long way to help your kids and family adopt a healthy lifestyle.
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