Lack of exercise adds weight to driven generation
MORE and more young people are seeking advice about keeping their weight down as figures reveal huge numbers of children get less than an hour's exercise a day.
The study into children's activity has shown 62 per cent of seven-year-old girls are not doing the recommended daily hour of exercise.
It also revealed a quarter of girls aged between five and 10 had done no sport in the last month – up 17 per cent since 2008.
Almost 7,000 primary school children were examined by health experts at the University College London's Institute of Child Health, who also found 63 per cent of boys aged seven were hitting suitable activity targets.
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Gloucester Slimming World Consultant Sam Summerfield is seeing more young people calling on her for healthy eating advice.
"Life is more convenient now and too easy, particularly for children," she said. "A lot of children are driven everywhere rather than walk, but it is up to parents to take more responsibility for how much children exercise and what they eat.
"We run a 'free to go' programme for 11 to 15-year-olds, educating them about making the right choices to stay healthy."
Only last week, county teacher Paul Bright slammed 'slop' being served up in school dinners and called obesity rates among Gloucestershire's children 'alarming'.
The statistics are a bitter pill for the Government, as ministers had hoped for a generation to be inspired to take up exercise in the wake of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The study involved children wearing an accelerometer for 10 hours a day for a week.
A knock-on effect is increased obesity levels and a potential health time bomb with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and strokes as children grow into adults.
The county council's Gloucestershire Joint Health and Wellbeing Board has been awarded a place on a national leadership programme to address sedentary lifestyle issues.
County councillor Dorcas Binns, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "We have opted to focus on reducing levels of childhood obesity within our most deprived communities, and will be working with local residents to develop meaningful interventions to help them eat well, be active and look after their health and wellbeing.
"While children in Gloucestershire are healthier than the national average, the council is committed to encouraging families to adopt healthy lifestyles."