Preschoolers, Parental Expectations and Obesity Trends
|January 25, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Research||
Understanding the trend in obesity among youth may require more consideration than blaming fast food, “lazy” parents and video games. It may require a more honest examination of the nature of the trade-offs that schools, child care centers and parents have to make to balance the issues of safety, learning and physical activity. We know that students are not getting adequate exercise during their physical education hours and that recess itself is a topic of debate, now a study indicates that preschoolers in daycare settings are not getting adequate amounts of physical playtime – for some surprising reasons.
The article, Societal Values and Policies May Curtail Preschool Children’s Physical Activity in Child Care Centers published in the February journal of Pediatrics found that young children in daycare did not typically get recommended levels of physical activity during their time at the center because of,
- a fear of child injury – including related parental complaints, parental pressure to reduce running and climbing play opportunities and concerns with licensing codes;
- a priority on classroom learning over non-cognitive playtime, due in part to the perceived pressure of early education standards; and
- a lack of financial resources for playground equipment or adequate space for active play.
The paper, available free online for download, includes a sample of responses from the study focus groups that paint a clearer picture as to some major, but hidden, reasons why the kids are sitting more and running less.
Societal Values and Policies May Curtail Preschool Children’s Physical Activity
in Child Care Centers. Kristen A. Copeland, Susan N. Sherman, Cassandra A. Kendeigh, Heidi J. Kalkwarf and Brian E. Saelens Pediatrics; originally published online January 4, 2012; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2102