Preventing Obesity in School Aged Children in Australia

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Schools and society are taking focussed actions aimed at increasing physical activity in children and helping lower the obesity rates that are becoming increasingly prevalent among young people. Statistics show that in Australia, one- quarter of children is either overweight or obese as stated in (Australian Government: Australian Insisture of Health & Welfare, 2004). The focus of preventing obesity will be the two to six year old age group.

Children who are obese face a number of factors that affect both their physical and emotional wellbeing. Obesity can cause health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart, liver or kidney disease as stated by (Shaffer, 1993 p. 187). Another problem, for children who are obese, is their social settings and interaction with other children. Negative experiences potentially can cause lifetime self-esteem issues. Shaffer believes “Obese children may also find it difficult to make friends with age mates, who are likely to tease them about their size” (1993 p. 187).

The two to six year old age group is a great age for a teacher to assist in preventing obesity. This is because they are at an age where they can start learning good habits, in all areas of life, and in particular physical activity and healthy eating. Teachers are in a position where they can be good role models and set good examples in the classroom. Children will observe their teachers and as Berk indicates “children can pick up much positive behaviour through observing others.” (2000 p. 485).

Physical education is important for two to six year olds. Teachers can play a big role in preventing obesity through educating and assisting students and parents. This is an amazing area of development as well as a lot of fu...

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...hrough their childhood and on to becoming an adult.

Works Cited

Australian Government: Australian Insisture of Health & Welfare. (2004). A rising epidemic: obesity in Australian children and adolecense. Canberra. Retrieved Department of Health & Ageing: Australia's Physical Activity Recommendations au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/1370.0~2010~Chapter~Obesity%20(

Berk, L. (2000). Child development (5th ed). Meedham Heights, Massachuetts: Allyn & Bacon.

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

Robertson, C. (2010). Saftey, Nutrition and health in early education. Belmont, California: Cenage Learning.

Shaffer, D. (1993). Developmental Psychology: Childhood and adolescence (3rd ed). Pacific Grove, California: Cole Publishing Company.

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