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Active parent involvement reduces obesity risk in children: Study

Are you worried about the unhealthy lifestyle of your children? If yes, then start engaging with them in their activities.

Zee Media Bureau

Toronto: Are you worried about the unhealthy lifestyle of your children? If yes, then start engaging with them in their activities.

A new study states that parents should involve with their children as it will help them promote healthy living that includes physical activity, healthy eating, and less sedentary time and most important behavioural determinants of childhood overweight and obesity.

Heather Manson, chief of health promotion (chronic disease and injury prevention) at Public Health Ontario (PHO), in Canada,"The study shows that simple encouragement is not enough -- active parental support is essential".

Overweight and obese individuals are at an increased risk of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, cancer in adulthood, and ultimately an increased risk of premature mortality.

Researchers said that improving parent support behaviours could be effective in mitigating the burden of excess body weight in childhood.

The findings showed that children whose parents took them to parks, playgrounds or sports programmes were twice as likely to be physically active. 

Children whose parents took part in physical activity along with them were 35 per cent more likely to meet physical activity guidelines.

Further, children whose parents served raw fruits and vegetables as snacks between meals were almost five times more likely to develop healthy eating behaviour.

In addition, children whose parents ate meals regularly with their family and were away from the television were 67 per cent more likely to eat healthy foods like fruits and green vegetables.

Children whose parents enforced rules about their kids' time before the screen were twice as likely not to develop sedentary behaviour.

The study also found that children were more likely to develop sedentary behaviours if families watch TV together or if there were several TVs in the house, the researchers concluded, in the paper appearing in the journal BMC Public Health.

(With IANS inputs)

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