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Teachers crucial for reducing child obesity

New research carried out by a North Carolinian organisation indicates that teachers play an important role in increasing the physical activity of young children.

The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG), in collaboration with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, created a guide for the organisation’s Be Active Kids programme.

According to Allison De Marco, an FPG investigator, the rates of child obesity have soared over the last two decades, with the increasing numbers affecting the life expectancy of children. De Marco pointed out that around half of overweight children who are of school age will still be overweight when they are adults, while a third of pre-school age children will remain overweight.

However, she said that children who are physically active reduce the likelihood of being overweight, as well as their chances of developing diseases like diabetes and heart disease, while also improving their academic abilities and behaviour.

The director of FPG, Samuel L. Odom, wanted to create a programme that would target children from birth to five years old, with activities appropriate to their age. The study found that when teachers were leading the sessions, the children became more active.

In Britain, education experts are working together to include more physical activity in school, combined with nutritious eating. This includes the introduction of healthy tuckshop foods in Lincolnshire and other areas of the UK. Although many of the activities and nutritious-eating options are directed by teachers, some tuckshops also provide franchise opportunities for mums.

Posted by Mark
August 17, 2014
Research

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