Childhood obesity is not just a problem in the United States anymore where presently about 1 in 3 children are either overweight or obese.
While not quite as severe, the accelerating rate of childhood obesity in Australia which currently stands at about 25% have some taking extreme measures to combat it.
People have become so worried about this problem Down Under that kiddie gyms are being set up at daycare centers and even the homes of children ages 3-5 years old.
Kiddie gyms come complete with treadmills, weight benches and even rowing machines.
Some daycare centers are even charging membership fees for children to use the equipment much like adult gyms and fitness centers.
Has this approach to reversing the increasing trend of childhood obesity gone too far?
It seems that children should really be playing outside in the fresh air and sunshine for their exercise, not doing the lab rat on a treadmill.
The boring, repetitive nature of treadmills, rowing machines and the like may actually backfire and teach children to hate exercise rather than embrace it as the fun, creative experience it is supposed to be.
It would be interesting to go through the pantries of the families who are installing these mini gyms in their homes. Are the pantries full of chips, crackers, cookies, fruit juice boxes, soda and other processed foods?
Are the children allowed to eat mindlessly in front of a constantly turned on TV?
Sadly, the answer to both of these questions is likely yes which means that such gyms would have little impact on the child’s overall health until the underlying reasons for the problem are addressed.
Since kiddie gyms require adult supervision anyway to prevent injury, it seems that the time would be better spent taking the child to the park or for a bike ride. At least then, fresh air and possibly some Vitamin D producing sunshine would be involved.
On a brighter note, one very effective use for the kiddie gyms has been discovered by hospitals. The gyms are being used to help children recover from car accidents.
Source: Kiddie Gyms Being Set Up for Tubby Toddlers
Eliza Katherine via Facebook
And Keria – my mother is from America but I have grown up in Sydney (with regular trips to the states) – we are almost as bad as the US with our public health now. I think we are a close second for obesity rates? Pity we can’t apply the same competitiveness to our cultural output :/
Eliza Katherine via Facebook
A little off topic, but I am from Sydney, Australia and have access to raw milk from pasture-raised jersey cows. Anyone is welcome to inbox me if they are interested! Sarah you are unfortunately right about the raw butter and cream though, very tricky to get unless you live in Queensland.
thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook
Actually, it is nearly impossible to get raw cream or raw butter in Australia – anywhere I’m told. You can get raw milk but even that is very difficult and it is from holsteins not jerseys. My husband is from Australia so we keep up on the happenings there and at one time were seriously considering a move there but a big reason why we didn’t go through with it was because we realized we would not have as easy access to raw dairy as we do here in Florida.