Preventing Childhood Obesity in Australia

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Introduction

“During the past two decades, the prevalence of obesity in children has risen greatly worldwide. Obesity in childhood causes a wide range of serious complications, and increases the risk of premature illness and death later in life, raising public-health concerns.” (Ebbeling, Pawlak & Ludwig, 2002 p.471) Currently in the Australian community and schools there is an obesity epidemic in young people with many children doing less and less physical activity then advised. “In 2007-08 the National health survey, run by the Australian Government indicated that 24.9% of children aged 5-17 years old were either overweight or obese” (Healthy Active, 2009). These figures show that children are not being properly educated about healthy eating and physical activity. The issues of childhood obesity need to be addressed at school and in the wider community by communicating the importance of physical activity and its benefits. Teachers and schools should lead by example and encourage their students to become physically active and promoting health eating habits.

The Importance of Physical Activity in Middle Childhood (Ages 6 - 10)

As children grow their bodies develop over time. For children in the middle childhood range there are many developments that they go through physically; they loose their baby teeth allowing for their adult teeth to come through, they gain weight and grow taller (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010). Children become more physically active and most children love to run and play. Children in this age range also develop their motor skills such as kicking, catching and throwing. They become more independent and “build on their emerging physical capabilities” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010). As children in this age range d...

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