In an effort to curb the ever-growing worldwide obesity epidemic, chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have banded together to issue new guidelines for healthy toddler physical activity. The guidelines suggest that children under five years of age need to exercise for at least three hours daily. According to England’s chief medical officer,Sally Davies, “For children that are not yet walking, there is considerable evidence that letting children crawl, play or roll around on the floor is essential during early years.” Regarding the importance of early physical activity, Davies noted, “Play that allows under-fives to move about is critical and three hours a day is essential. I think there are parents who are not aware how important it is for their children to be physically active for a minimum of three hours. Other parents are very busy and may not see how important it is to get that prioritization and balance right.” According to England’s National Health Service (NHS) statistics, almost 25 percent of children between the ages of four and five are either overweight or obese. Professor Fiona Bull, the chairman of the scientific committee behind the guidelines, and co-director of the British Heart Foundation National Center for Physical Activity at Loughborough University, advised parents to “turn the TV off.” To maintain health, infants and toddlers should be restrained or kept still for as little time as possible beyond time spent sleeping. In an effort to gain ground in the battle against America’s fast-spreading epidemic of childhood and adolescent obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) called for a ban last month on the broadcast of junk food and fast food advertising during children’s television shows. Some healthy forms of activity for children to engage in include jungle gym climbing, bicycle riding, skipping, running or playing chase, and swimming. Activities that get the heart rate up and make children “huff and puff” are the most desirable.
Source : Health News