Obesity is certainly one of the most serious health concerns for kids in Australia, and screen time is one of the biggest reasons behind it. When the children are spending so much time watching television and playing electronic games instead of going outside and stay active, it is going to lead to obesity. Australian Government Guidelines recommend a maximum of two hours of screen time daily for entertainment purposes. It will prevent health problems such as poor eyesight, poor posture, sleep problems, obesity and social problems. However, our research found that around 78 per cent of kids (5 to 16 years) are spending time on TV, tabs, laptops and phones more than a couple of hours daily.

Poor Diet in Kids

The National Health and Medical Research Council have provided dietary guidelines in Australia. As per the rules, the kids need to consume a sufficient amount of food from all five food categories - Fruit, Vegetables, Meat and Poultry. However, the Kids Eat and Play survey found that:

  • Children and adolescents do not meet the recommended amount in vegetables.
  • When it comes to fruit, kids between the age 2 and 8 years meet the recommended quantity, but kids from 9 to 16 do not.
  • In the grains category, only boys aged between 4 to 12 years and girls between 9 to 12 years tears met the recommendations.
  • The majority of kids did not meet the recommended amount for lean meats and alternatives.
  • Only preschool kids met the recommendation for consumption of dairy products.

Insufficient Physical Activity

In Australia, there are guidelines for physical activity as well as sedentary behaviour. These recommendations set the minimum level of staying physically active needed for health benefits, as well as the maximum time to spend on sedentary behaviours. It can help an individual to achieve optimal health outcomes. Physical activity for 2 to 5 years is at least 3 hours per day that will have at least 1 hour of energetic play. Kids between the age of 5 to 16, several hours of light activities, but they should have at least 1 hour of moderate to vigorous activity regularly. On the other hand, screen-based activity or sedentary behaviour for 2 to 5 years should not be more than 1 hour. And when it comes to the kids between 5 and 16 years, the maximum time should be 2 hours.

However, the Kids Eat and Play survey has found that children aged 2 to 5 years do not complete 180 minutes of physical activity regularly. Kids between 5 and 16 years do not complete at least 1 hour of physical activity regularly, which is causing different types of health issues.

The Guidelines mentioned recommending that children, as well as adolescents, undertake muscle-strengthening activities at least thrice a week. However, the survey found that 6% of 15 to 17-year-olds involve activities to strengthen muscles on 3 or more days a week (22% of boys and 8% of girls).

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