News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Technology cuts kids' activity time

Technology cuts kids' activity time

Being active: Sport Waikato SportsForce hockey development officer Jack Clayton puts a Bodywise group through some drills as part of their physical activity session.


Increased “screen time” due to advancing technology has been identified as a contributor to childhood obesity.

Screen time is now one of the measures – along with diet and exercise – looked at by the team in Bodywise, a Waikato District Health Board and Sport Waikato programme aimed at helping bigger-sized kids.

“Advances in technology have increased screen time. Traditionally this was just TV but now this includes computers, DVDs, hand-held games, web-based portable devices and phones,” says Natalie Parkes, the DHB clinical psychologist on the Bodywise team.

“Parents think they are doing well by getting the kids away from the TV but they need to be outside and active.

‘’We know from research that kids who spend time outside are also more active when they are inside.”

Bodywise has been helping overweight and obese Waikato kids aged 5-12 years since 2004 through a 14-month family-based programme encouraging healthy choices.

“The focus is on overall health rather than getting kids to lose weight, so the focus is on healthy foods, exercising and just making good choices,” Natalie says.

“We encourage the families to do things together and at the end of the programme many say they have really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it.”

The Bodywise team includes a dietician, doctor, psychologist and family co-ordinator/administrator. Much of the programme happens at Sport Waikato’s Hamilton base, after an initial consultation at Waikato Hospital’s Children’s Clinic.

The Bodywise team don’t set out to get kids to lose weight, the aim is to slow down or halt weight gain as they grow taller.

This is achieved by half to two-thirds of children who finish the programme.

Natalie says “life just sometimes gets in the way”.

“Things like when both parents are working fulltime, it’s hard to plan meals and cooking in a busy family. And kids have a lot on.

“It’s hard to make lifestyle changes – and there’s lots happening in modern families, and it doesn’t take much for things to go off the rails. When you look at individual families who might not have done so well, you can see the obstacles are often great.”

A long-term evaluation covering 44 families is due next year to see if initial changes made have been sustained.

While there are programmes in a few centres for overweight kids, there is no programme like Bodywise elsewhere in the country.

The kids don’t do the programme on their own; after the initial assessment there’s a parent information evening, and a parent or support person is required at the twice-weekly sessions which run for six weeks at Sport Waikato. There are monthly follow ups which last a year, often at home or school, with three-monthly ones at Sport Waikato when the scales come out.

Natalie says most parents get involved because they understand the health risks ahead for an obese child and want to reduce these. And there are often already issues for the children such as bullying, low self-esteem and general emotional wellbeing.

“About 30 per cent of New Zealand children are overweight and 10 per cent are obese. Up to 80 per cent of obese children grow up to be obese in adulthood, and that’s when health issues like diabetes and heart disease kick in. Out goal is early intervention so these kids grow up to enjoy healthy adult lives.”

Bodywise can take more kids on the programme; parents can gain a referral through their family doctor.

Breakout box….

REDUCE YOUR CHILD’S RISK

Have breakfast every day

Take a healthy lunch from home

Eat together as a family when possible

Eat 5-plus a day fruit and vege

Kids need at least 10 hours’ sleep a day

More than 60 minutes “huff and puff” activity a day and less than two hours’ screen time out of school

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Poroporoaki: Dr Apirana Tuahae Kaukapakapa Mahuika

Papa Api was a man of many great gifts and occupied a long list of roles including priest, teacher, scholar, politician, and leader. Chair of Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, and a rangatira of his iwi... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news