Obesity in School Children

1754 Words May 15th, 2012 8 Pages
Obesity in school children
Children develop within a set framework and grow according to the levels of exercise and nutrition available to them as well as their particular genetic nature. In affluent countries such as Australia this growth can be affected by the lack of exercise and the consumption of too many kilojoules. Currently there are a large percentage of children who are verging on obesity or are obese, and this is an emerging cause for worry in today’s schools. Children today are not as active as previous generations, sometimes due to a lack of opportunity such as being driven to school instead of walking. Other reasons are less time outside and more time watching television and playing computer games. There is a much larger
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Schools should have adequate training for staff and positive programs for students in place for education about nutrition and exercise. Appropriate attitudes towards the eating and exercise programs and for those children who are vulnerable within the school environment are a necessary part of a preventative program. (Yager & O’Dea, 2005) Teachers who understand the significance of Bandura’s (1986) social learning theory, which states “people learn from one another” have the opportunity to be constructive role models, giving the students clear messages about body image, showing tolerance for diverse body shapes and supportive practices for struggling students. (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2011)

Four ways a teacher can assist in addressing and/or preventing obesity
Movement in the classroom
There are many ways a teacher can introduce movement in to the daily programs in the classroom through games, quizzes and physical challenges. Some of these can be adapted to align with the units of study being introduced. A times table quiz can be extended by having children jump out the answer or a spelling challenge can introduce making letter shapes with their bodies. To encourage children to work with others, especially someone new, physical games can be used to promote
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