Excessive screen time, lack of physical activity and obesity identified as the biggest health concerns for Australian children and teenagers.
Melbourne’s Royal Children Hospital conducted The Australian Child Health Poll which found that bullying and having an unhealthy diet were also identified by parents as in the top five children’s health issue.
Dr Anthea Rhodes, the poll’s director, stated that the top 10 worries related to modern lifestyles, instead of traditional problems such as accidents and allergies.
She added that when they’ve looked to the public and requested them to inform them on what’s important, they’ve very clearly been told that it’s the issues relating to mental health, child welfare and lifestyle that are huge issues in their eyes.
There is plenty of research that informs us about the flow-on effects of obesity in children and the economic results of that when it continues into adulthood.
Excessive screen time was chosen by 60 per cent of 2,000 parents, as the top health problem of concern.
Over 50% stated that they viewed sedentary lifestyle and diet as a problem. A comparable number also acknowledged illegal drugs and domestic violence in families a concern.
According to Ms Rhodes, everyone has a part to play in fixing it.
The huge problems, as highlighted by the Australian public, are very much non-traditional health problems and it’s not clear whose responsibility they are.
Is it the responsibility of the parents themselves? The government and policy makers? Or healthcare providers? It is up to the people across the nation to pay attention and make a difference where they can.