A project funded by the European Commission to fight against child obesity, has recommended that televisions be removed from nursery and also from bedrooms at home. The project involves nine countries, including the UK to “develop and test an innovative and evidence based obesity prevention programme for children aged four to six years”.
The project has been commissioned as fears that obesity levels in pre-school children are increasing. According to a recent survey, obesity among children who are pre-school age has soared to alarming levels. In Spain, almost 40 percent of girls who are pre-school age are either obese or overweight. More than 20 percent of UK children start school either classed as overweight or obese.
The co-ordinator of the project, Yannis Manios from Athens believes that there is a distinct link between sedentary activities like watching TV and becoming overweight. The study also indicates that children of pre-school age will be more likely to join in physical activities and become active than older children who are harder to influence. However, exposure to food and drinks which are full of sugar is also a problem, as humans are naturally attracted to the sweet taste of these food and drink products, leading to obesity problems.
Professor Manios advises parents to remove televisions from kid’s bedrooms and not to have lots of unhealthy snacks in the cupboards. He said:
“Parents should also remember that their role is not only to provide healthy food and drink options but to act as a role model themselves, since kids are copying their behaviours.”