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Healthy eating and more exercise: Childhood obesity is stagnating


The number of obese school children in Bavaria is low

The number of obese children has increased significantly worldwide in recent years. In this country too, many children and adolescents are much too fat. In Bavaria, the number of very overweight first graders is stagnating, but the State Minister for Health calls on parents to pay more attention to healthy eating and more exercise in the fight against overweight young people.

More and more overweight people in Germany

More and more overweight people live in Germany. Many children and teenagers are too fat too. Health experts repeatedly warn against underestimating the risks of being overweight. Childhood and adolescent obesity can have dangerous health consequences, including increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes later in life. On the occasion of the European Obesity Day, Bavaria's Minister of Health Melanie Huml has promoted the fact that parents should pay more attention to a healthy diet and more exercise for their offspring.

Number of overweight first graders in Bavaria stagnated

The number of heavily overweight first graders in the Free State has been stagnating at 3.2 percent for years and was even higher at 3.9 percent in the 2003/2004 school year, but: "But that is no reason for us to lean back," said the minister.

"Rather, we will not let up in our efforts to tackle obesity in children and adolescents," said the CSU politician.

"It is gratifying that the obesity rate among school children in Bavaria is lower than the average of the other countries."

Make sure you have a healthy diet and exercise

According to the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL), a total of 3,290 children - 3.2 percent - overweight (obese) and 5,243 children - 5.1 percent - were overweight in the 2014/2015 school entrance examinations.

Ten years earlier there were 4,417 obese and 7,400 overweight school children in the Free State.

"Despite the stagnating numbers, it is still necessary to prevent the development of obesity in kindergarten and school age," said Huml, who is a licensed doctor and mother of two.

"Because less than half of the children manage to get rid of excess weight once they have been acquired."

In children with obesity, almost two thirds (65 percent) remained obese even as adolescents.

"It is therefore important that parents, in particular, pay attention to healthy nutrition and more exercise for their children," said the minister.

Parents should be role models for children

According to information from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), only 22.4 percent of girls and 29.4 percent of boys between the ages of three and 17 years are physically active for at least 60 minutes a day and thus achieve the physical activity recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO).

"Even in adolescence, being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, liver damage, metabolic disorders or joint problems," explained Huml.

“There can also be considerable psychological problems. This is why children and adolescents with obesity need support to achieve a normal, age-appropriate weight. The longer you are overweight, the more likely it is that secondary diseases will occur. ”

The politician added: "If the course for a healthy lifestyle is set at a young age, it can often prevent common diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

And: “A child should be given a healthy diet and enjoy exercise - ideally, the whole family participates! An active lifestyle with a balanced diet and lots of exercise is crucial for a healthy body weight. ”(Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Childhood Obesity: The impact of nutrition on health (August 2020).