Fat Kids in the Classroom: What Teachers Can Do

1411 Words6 Pages
Obesity is a condition where excess body fat accumulates when the energy intake from food and drink is greater than the energy expended through physical activity (Australian Institute of Health & Wellbeing, 2004).Obesity is now seen as a rising epidemic worldwide and it is not restricted just to adults. According to the Australian Medical Association (2009), almost a quarter of Australian children are overweight with one in four of these being classified as obese. This is a major concern not only because of health and social problems short term, but also for the long term health issues that follow into adulthood. These include cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, strokes, diabetes and asthma. Television, computers, internet, the fast food industry, poor awareness of healthy eating habits and reduced amounts of physical activity have all been identified as cause of obesity (Australian Sports Commission 2003). This essay considers why physical activity is so important for children in the Middle Childhood (6-10 years), what roles teachers play in addressing and preventing obesity and the strategies they use to achieve this.

Physical activity is defined as “bodily movements produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure” (Pate, Pratt et al., 1995 as cited in Summerfiels, 2000). Physical activity is vitally important for the healthy growth and development of middle childhood body systems, bones and muscles and allows them to maintain a healthy weight and sustain it into adulthood. Physical activity is crucial to the development of physical, social, cognitive and emotional well-being of children. Many middle childhood children begin to emerge on their physical capabilities. Their gross motor skills become m...

... middle of paper ...

...esearch Clinical Endocrinology & Metabloism. Volume 19, Issue 3, Childhood Obesity.

McDevitt, T., & Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Child development and education. (4th ed.) New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

New South Wales Board of Studies (1999), Personal Development, Health and Physical Education K-6 Modules, Board of Studies, New South Wales, Sydney.

Pirola-Merlo, S. (2003). Teacher wellbeing. Relationship management in the primary school classroom, Pearson Prentice Hall.

Shilton, T. & Naughton, G. (2001), Physical activity and children. A Statement of Importance and Call to Action from the Heart Foundation, Retrieved from http://heartfoundation.isa.net.au/prof/docs/call to action.htm

Summerfield, L. M. (2000). Promoting Physcial Activity and Exercise among Children, Retrieved from http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content4/promote.phyed.html

More about Fat Kids in the Classroom: What Teachers Can Do

Open Document