Reposted from a story by: Health Reporter Jordanna Schriever From: adelaidenow April 01, 2013
•Biggest Loser trainer Shannon Ponton – parents to blame for fat children
Parents not a healthy example
I HAVE a message for parents. It is time to toughen up, especially when it comes to the health of your children.. End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
YOUNG Australian children are growing so fat that doctors are removing their tonsils to help them breathe.
Flinders Medical Centre’s head of ear, nose and throat surgery, Professor Simon Carney, said obesity was behind an increase in tonsil surgery for children.
“We take out more tonsils for kids that have breathing and sleep problems than for those that have tonsillitis,” he said.
He said overweight parents were more likely to regard overweight children as acceptable and not address their weight problem.
Adelaide paediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr David Wabnitz said about 10 per cent of children having tonsils removed because of sleeping problems were overweight.
“The problem with sleep-disordered breathing is that it impacts on their energy levels during the day and children then have difficulty exercising,” he said.
MoreBiggest Loser trainer Shannon Ponton – parents to blame for fat children
“We hope that removing tonsils and adenoids would improve their sleep quality, which then would improve their energy levels during the day, which then would improve their obesity.”
But Dr Wabnitz said sleep-disordered breathing more commonly affected underweight children who failed to thrive because their energy was “churned up trying to breathe at night”.
Overweight kids as young as 10 are also developing “late onset” diabetes that normally afflicts the middle-aged and 36kg “waddling” toddlers are also being treated for obesity.
Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said some parents did not even notice their children were overweight.
“There’s a new norm once you get 25 per cent of children and 60 per cent of adults obese,” he said. “They look in the mirror and think they don’t look too bad.”
One of the nation’s three specialist childhood obesity centres, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, is treating toddlers as young as 18 months.
Some two-year-olds were weighed 36kg – three times the recommended body weight – and waddled rather than walked.
Paediatric obesity specialist Dr Shirley Alexander said seven and eight-year-olds had been fitted with breathing machines and had their tonsils removed to help them breathe, and even had hip operations because they were so heavy their joints gave out.
– with Natasha Bita
Is your kid a couch potato?
What the federal Health Department recommends for:
•Babies – supervised floor-based play from birth.
•Under-5s – physically active for at least three hours, spread throughout the day. They should not be sedentary or restrained for more than an hour at a time, unless sleeping.
•5-12s – an hour a day of moderate and vigorous activity
•12-18 – at least an hour a day of physical activity.
Recommened screen time – TV, DVDs or electronic games•Under-2s – none•2-5 – no more than one hour a day.
•5-12s – no more than two hours a day.
•12-18s – no more than two hours a day for entertainment