How healthy are Australian kids?
In recent years, Australia unfortunately has made its way onto the list of unhealthy nations in association with obesity.
By Bio Island Nutrition Team
You may think Australia as a nation is an amazing place for highly nutritionist meals, the active and beach lifestyles and the ultimate easy breezy attitude. In recent years, however, Australia unfortunately has made its way onto the list of unhealthy nations in association with obesity and other chronic health related issues.
Australian children tend to be considered generally healthy but according to the Australian Health and Welfare statistics a large percentage of children are not meeting majority of the recommended guidelines for nutrition and physical activity. We are now seeing reports and evidence showing the implications of what this poor early behaviour in childhood has in adulthood and is alarmingly growing at a steady rate.
- 70% of children aged 2-17 years do not meet the physical activity guidelines.
- Most children are exceeding the recommended sedentary screen-based activity time
- 9% of children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese
- Only 20% of children are eating sufficient amounts of vegetables
- 8% of children aged 2-14 years consume a sugar sweetened/added sugar beverage or diet drink at least once per week.
The above points highlight only a few of the many concerns being seen in Australian children. As a nation Australia has numerous resources and guidelines to help keep a healthy lifestyle for yourself and family. But unfortunately, our statistics are stating otherwise in the behaviours and habits in family households.
The department of health recommends that children aged 5-12 years should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. For the same age bracket sedentary behaviour should be limited to no more than 2 hours a day in front of a screen device. Long periods of sitting should be broken up as much as possible.
When it comes to nutrition and healthy eating, guidelines are available on the eatforhealth.gov.au website. It gives details for all age brackets on what is recommended to have a healthy life and avoid any potential chronic health related issues. Children should be consuming a generous amount of fruit and vegetables every day. Taking a closer look at meals and foods your children are consuming can make the difference in what their health will say about them in a few years and most importantly the behaviours that have been created which can last a lifetime.
The guidelines and recommendations have been set in place to help create a more positive and healthier environment for everyone. They are just the starting ground for many other healthy lifestyle choices. Aiming to follow these guidelines can make a major difference now and in the future for yourself but most importantly your children. Hopefully being able to shift a change to a healthier life and reduce the alarming statistics.
For more information regarding guidelines and statistics: