Essay on Preventing Obesity in School Aged Children in Australia

1350 Words 6 Pages
Schools and society are taking focussed actions aimed at increasing physical activity in children and helping lower the obesity rates that are becoming increasingly prevalent among young people. Statistics show that in Australia, one- quarter of children is either overweight or obese as stated in (Australian Government: Australian Insisture of Health & Welfare, 2004). The focus of preventing obesity will be the two to six year old age group.
Children who are obese face a number of factors that affect both their physical and emotional wellbeing. Obesity can cause health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart, liver or kidney disease as stated by (Shaffer, 1993 p. 187). Another problem, for children who are obese, is
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Physically two to six year olds are refining their gross and fine motor skills such as being able to catch a ball, skipping, hopping and running (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p. 24) This is important because their ability to refine their skills improves the more they practice and as they get older. An example of this is stated in (Berk, 2000, p. 177) “at the age of two and three, they throw a ball rigidly, using only their arms but by the time they reach four and five, they rotate the body and step forward as they throw it”.
As children get older, they learn that the world isn’t all about them and they start to interact with their peers. According to McDevitt & Ormrod this is called cognitive development which also includes some knowledge of colours, the alphabet and numbers. Physical activity at this developmental stage will encourage children to enjoy what they are doing when seeing other children doing the same. They may not be scared to join in as they are now beginning to “enjoy each other’s company.” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p.20)
Children in this age group are also emerging socially. They are “more willing to share their toys and take turns” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p. 24). This development is important to have, especially towards physical activity, because they are beginning to realise the concept of working together while not getting as upset, when it is someone else’s turn in a game they may
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