Obesity in kids is the hot topic du jour in the news these days. There are all kinds of studies trying to answer why? What’s the big mystery? When children go to school, sit, come home, eat junk food, sit in front of the T.V, the computer, listen to their ipods, eat some more, go on Facebook, play games online, maybe get in some homework, eat again, go online again, sit again…What do you think will happen besides bad grades? According to a study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). A ChildWise’s Survey of 2500 kids ages 5-16 spend ~ 2h a day online, which equals 14 h/wk and spend only 4 h on outdoor exercise.
Children’s fingers are getting a great work out but are any other muscles? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out there might be a connection to this “lump” on the couch behavior and obesity. To burn calories children need to get up off the couch, away from the computer, off of their beds and exercise. Only “about three in ten kids say they have rules about how much time they can spend watching TV, playing video games or using the computer,” according to the same Kaiser study. Limiting kids to homework time on the computer, and some additional free time on the computer or other electronic device, T.V., game- would be a start. Who knows- with out these gadgets to turn to for immediate entertainment kids might go outside run around and burn a few calories and get their muscles in shape.