One in three 11-year-old children in the UK and USA suffers from childhood obesity. Although genetics has some role in this, studies show that habits are more important than heredity. Meaning the best way to prevent or overcome childhood obesity is to get your kids into the habit of exercising and eating better. Someone probably got a few letters after their name for that revolutionary finding!
So although there’s no rocket science in that particular finding, some of the stats that got us there are pretty sobering. Like f’rinstance…
- Because we’re so used to seeing (ahem) bigger kids now, only 14% of parents of obese kids actually know that their kids are overweight! So not only are there more big kids around, but we’ve got funny eyes that think they’re OK!
- Nearly three quarters of our kids don’t get the recommended one hour of exercise in a day. THREE QUARTERS!
- Children with childhood obesity are setting themselves up for a future of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Tragic to think that can be determined so early on in their lives.
- Overweight children are more prone to substance abuse and depression. We all know that teenagers can get there on their own, so imagine what that’s like when they’re overweight!
Now I’m a fat b&@*&£d, and I get teased (often ironically by my own kids) about my weight, and I can see how brutal that can be! Imagine being a child at the receiving end of teasing and abuse. At Freaky Rivet, a number of the activities that we are releasing weekly will aim to get kids more physically active, as well as stimulating creativity, learning and just plain having fun. I’m trying some out myself – after all, kids learn more from watching what we do than from what we tell them. Or at least that’s my excuse for pretending to be a kid with some of these activities again.