Call to action for our fat kids
ONE in four Gold Coast kids are overweight or obese – a figure that could increase by 2025 if kids don’t get more active.
Research from the Australian Sports Foundation, to be presented at the Prime Minister’s Oration by former PM Julia Gillard on November 21, shows physical inactivity is the fourth-leading cause of chronic health problems in Australia.
It comes amid findings that 66 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese.
The most recent Health of Queenslanders report, from 2015-16, reveals 23 per cent of Gold Coast kids are struggling with their weight.
The statistic equates to 4500 obese local children and 16,000 classed as overweight.
Gold Coast Medical Association president Dr Sonu Haikerwal, who is also co-owner of the Haan Health Medical Centre, confirmed child obesity was a big problem in the city.
“This is something we see a lot through our clinics and our doctors talk about nutrition and diet with all patients,” Dr Haikerwal said.
“It’s an issue we have to start working on from the beginning. When a woman is pregnant it’s important to monitor weight gain and gestational diabetes.
“From when a child is born it is important for their growth, weight and height, to be monitored. There are many other health issues that can follow from being overweight or obese and that is the serious concern for doctors.
“Where there is a problem, there isn’t an easy solution. It is a lifestyle change for the whole family that is required.
“Many struggle to afford good food. Bad food is cheaper, so it’s not always easy.”
Dr Haikerwal said if Coast parents concerned about their child’s weight they should visit a general practitioner.
“Particularly one that is a specialist in the field of nutrition or pediatrics,” she said.
A group of sporting ambassadors will today urge Australians to get moving after it emerged that 81 per cent of children aged 5-17 do not meet recommended physical education guidelines.
Essendon AFL captain Dyson Heppell, Australia’s most capped female cricketer Alex Blackwell, soccer star Kyah Simon and paralympian Danni Di Toro will lead a push to improve participation.
The elite quartet have teamed up with the inaugural Prime Minister’s Sporting Oration, to be staged in Melbourne, to encourage business leaders to fund grassroots programs. Former Aussie cricket captain Blackwell said the stastics were unacceptable and change was urgently needed.
“This will be the first generation that will be slower than their parents and have a lower life expectancy,” she said.