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The Dog Answer to Child Obesity



I don’t know about you but I find the news that nearly a third of children aged between 2 and 15 are overweight or obese completely shocking. The government have produced a paper with regards to this entitled ‘Childhood Obesity – A plan for action. It’s an interesting read and covers such areas as a soft drinks levy and a 20% reduction in sugar in addition to the availability of healthy food to the lower income areas of society.

The paper states that the root of obesity is taking in more energy through food that is expended through physical activity (no new information there). Number 1 son is 8 years old and in Key Stage 2 at school (what I knew as the juniors dating me a little). With this government paper in mind I was flabbergasted to discover that he only has one break time a day, in the morning, they have lunch time which is partly taken up by having lunch and they have PE once a week. The paper clearly stated that children need 60 minutes of exercise per day 30 minutes of that at school and 30 minutes organised at home.

I find this difficult to get my head around - as parents we need to work, do the usual caring (cooking etc), help with homework and now provide 30 minutes exercise per day before bedtime! Why not do more exercise at school?

There are, however, fantastic initiatives going on in schools such as the daily mile innovated by a school in Scotland, where all the kids run a mile at some point in their school day, as well as the after-school sports that some (but not all) schools are able to offer.

I have my new solution for my activity allergic son – dog walking. We have just spent the last week looking after our neighbour’s two lovely dogs. They needed walking in the morning, during the day and at tea time. Number 1 son couldn’t wait to get out before and after school with the dogs, they walked and ran with him and consequently we reached more than our quota of 30 minutes.

Brilliant! The only down side…..scooping the poop!

  




 

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