The Nation's schools which have been often criticized for unhealthy school lunches, well-stocked vending machines and cuts in their physical education programs - may actually do a better job than parents in keeping children fit and trim.
A study found that 5-6 year olds gained more weight over the summer that during the school year, casting doubt on the assumption that kids are generally more active during their summer vacations time. Researchers speculate the extra pounds during the summer months come from the lack of the structure of the school year with all its activities and daily comings and goings,
This is particularly interesting to me as a former Physical Education and Health Teacher and long time Public Health Educator. It should be of even more concern to those who have children home during the summer.
The study co-author says that for many youngsters the lazy days of summer are just that - lazy. There is more time to eat snacks and lounge about watching TV or playing video games. The study points to the need for parents to be more involved and to set good examples .
Researchers found the body-mass indexes of 5,380 kindergartners and first-graders on average increased more that twice as much during summer break compared with the school year. Once kids were back in school, however, the monthly growth rate of their Body Mass Index fell.