Parents set an active example

WITH obesity affecting a quarter of Australia's children there has never been a better time to get the kids outside and active.

In the lead up to Christmas the Cancer Council Queensland is urging parents to steer clear of video and computer games and consider buying children gifts that encourage physical activity.

Cancer Council Queensland community services co-ordinator Susan Lingard said it was easy to become complacent with exercise during the holiday period, but families should aim to stay active where possible.

"We know that leading a healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of cancer, so it is important children participate in regular physical activity from an early age and continue to lead an active lifestyle in adulthood," Ms Lingard said.

She said the risk for Australian children was all too real.

"The Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that 23%, or one in four children aged between two to 16 years, are overweight or obese.

"Unfortunately Australia is one of the most overweight nations in the developed world, and, irrespective of your height or build, if your waistline is getting bigger it could mean you are at increased risk of developing cancer," she said.

Ms Lingard said Christmas was the perfect opportunity to give children gifts that encouraged enjoyment in physical activity and also lots of fun for the whole family.

"Parents and grandparents can take this opportunity to get involved in these healthy activities with children," she said.

Parents can often be the solution to having healthy, active kids and Ms Lingard said they should act as role models for their children and lead the way by joining in on physical activities.

"Remember to time your outdoor activities outside the hottest part of the day, so either before 10am or after 3pm, to remain safe in the sun this summer," she said.

"Don't forget sun protection for all outdoor activities."

Healthy Christmas

The Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that 23%, or one-in-four children aged between two to 16 years are overweight or obese.

Australia is one of the most overweight nations in the developed world.

Irrespective of your height or build, if your waistline is getting bigger it could mean you are at increased risk of developing cancer.

Ideas for healthy presents include...

  • Fins and snorkel set
  • Scooter
  • Skateboard
  • Cricket set
  • Balls - basketball, soccer, netball, football
  • Rollerblades
  • Boogie board
  • Bicycle
  • Hula hoop
  • Skipping rope


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