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DN Debate. Children and young people move too little and eat unhealthy

According to the Swedish public health policy is children and young people as a priority target group. The national goal for public health policy is to create s

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DN Debate. Children and young people move too little and eat unhealthy

According to the Swedish public health policy is children and young people as a priority target group. The national goal for public health policy is to create societal conditions for good and equal health in the whole population and eliminate the avoidable hälsoklyftorna within a generation. Although it shows the Pep report in 2019, which is published today, Wednesday, to both socio-economic factors such as gender and age play a big role for children and young people's physical health. In the survey, has over 11 000 children have participated. It has been implemented by the Generation of pep along with That institute and with the support of the Swedish Heart-lung foundation.

the Report confirms the picture from the majority of other studies that children and young people in Sweden today are moving too little and often eat too little of the body feel good, and for a lot of things that are not conducive to good health. Get children and young people meet the recommendations of both when it comes to food and physical activity. This is a problem that not only can be isolated to a certain group in society, but it is relevant to all of us.

1 , Many children and young people move too little. Several studies have shown that the children coming up in the daily recommended level of physical activity of 60 minutes, and in a number of studies have seen a declining trend, where children and young people are moving less today than 15-20 years ago.

In the Pep report we can also see that the physical activity is lower among the older children. Before the age of ten involved the majority of children regularly in any form of organized physical activity, but there are large socio-economic differences and there are many children who have left the organized sport already at the age of ten. According to the Swedish sports Confederation is one reason that many children and young people give up sport, the increased urbanisation, digitisation, but especially to the unsustainable talent show that turns out, and exclude many children and young people.

Several countries have adopted clear national frameworks and strategies, but such clear, common guidelines and action plans is missing so far in Sweden.

2 Get the children and young people reaches up to kostråden. In the Pep-the report indicates, only four of the ten children that they eat vegetables every day and those who eat vegetables eat the vast majority of significantly less than the recommended 500 grams per day.

Just like when it comes to physical activity, we can see a big difference between the different age groups, and even here it is the teenagers that in the lowest extent of the reach recommendations. Similarly, reducing the proportion of children who eat fruits or berries as they become older. Of children of pre-school age, 60 per cent indicated that they eat fruit and berries every day, while the same figure for teenagers was 20 per cent.

3 , School has an important role to promote health equity. recent times has the role of the school for children and young people's health has been debated. Even if we don't know enough about physical activity's impact on learning outcomes, have physical activity, among other things, been shown to increase the concentration. The school reaches all children and young people and therefore has a unique potential to contribute to a more equal health.

Of the children who participated in the survey report a quarter that they only have sport and health education once a week. In the Pep report, we can see that this teaching is something that is appreciated by a high proportion and that many people want to have more education than what they have today. Sport and health education is important for more movement in the school and important to teach the importance of physical activity, but it is also important to offer physical activities such as breaks, without demands for performance.

About four out of ten children and young people in the study have indicated that they have any type of physical activity in the school outside of idrottsundervisningen, for example, rörelsepauser during the lesson. The differences between the different age groups, however, is large, where teenagers are the group that is in the lowest degree of physical activities in addition to sports and health education.

4 Screen takes of the children and young people's time. Another topic that has attracted debate in recent times is the children and young people skärmtid. In the Pep report, we can see that more than one in five children between the ages of 7-9 years are three hours or more, outside of class time, in front of the screen every day.

Whether the increased skärmtid can be correlated with mental illness is not something we speculate about. What we can see is that the skärmtiden take of the children and young people's time. In the Pep report, we see a clear trend where children who spend more time in front of the screen also tend to move less. Regardless of what we think about screens it is therefore important to be aware of what they are taking time away.

5 Society and the adult world must take responsibility for promoting children and young people's health. To socio-economic factors play a role in children and young people's health is something that previous studies have shown, and it is something we can also see in the Pep report. Children who grow up with different socio-economic conditions have varying ability to be physically active and eat healthy.

In the adult population, be reflected in differences in the incidence of several serious diseases and life expectancy. Of those who participated in the study, it was 82 percent of the children whose parents were high-income earners who participated in any form of leisure time physical activity, while the same figure for children to low-income households was 53 per cent. Previous studies have shown that although dietary habits are worse among children and young people in the more socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, they eat less fish and vegetables and drink more soft drinks.

In this report, we see similar patterns, for example, is there a correlation between family income level and how many days children and young people are eating vegetables, fruit and berries. Where a higher level of income means that one tends to eat green fruit more often. Further studies are required, however, to be able to say what is cause and effect.

the costs to Society of the consequences of physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits, amounts to many billions of dollars each year. But the development is going to turn. In order to succeed, we believe that the necessary direction and clear goals from the national level, with the support of the UN's global goals.

Many studies have been done to investigate what are effective interventions to promote healthy behaviors and there are evidence-based measures to use in health care, kindergarten, school, associations, the business sector and through policy instruments.

Several countries have adopted clear national frameworks and strategies, but such clear, common guidelines and action plans is missing so far in Sweden. Our hope is that the recent years of studies, all of which show that children and young people's physical health deteriorated, can get the powers-that-be wake up and act together to reverse the trend. With clear coordination and prioritization of the issue, we have good hope of being able to see a positive development in the coming year, Pep reports.

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