Two in three children are eating cakes and biscuits daily

TOP TIPS: (from left) Assoc Prof Corneel Vandelanotte, Dr Amanda Rebar, Stephanie Schoeppe, Stephanie Alley, Dr Betul Sekendiz and Stephanie Hall. In the spirit of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song, CQUniversity’s physical activity specialists have pitched in to produce their top 12 tips for the coming festive season.
TOP TIPS: (from left) Assoc Prof Corneel Vandelanotte, Dr Amanda Rebar, Stephanie Schoeppe, Stephanie Alley, Dr Betul Sekendiz and Stephanie Hall. In the spirit of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song, CQUniversity’s physical activity specialists have pitched in to produce their top 12 tips for the coming festive season. Contributed

THE future's not going to be bright if Queenslanders don't start tightening their belts, according to CQUniversity's Dr Betul Sekendiz.

But the exercise and sport management expert said overweight and obese children couldn't change their lifestyle habits without good examples set by parents.

The Health of Queenslanders Report 2014, released in November, revealed one in five children were overweight, while one in 10 were obese.

The report also found 46% of children were physically active when travelling to school, but 34% spent too long in front of a screen.

Dr Sekendiz said the results were "worrisome" and highlighted the need for more preventative health measures and education.

With children learning from family, Dr Sekendiz said research had shown links between overweight parents and children.

She said for children to improve their future outlook, changes needed to happen in the whole family.

While Dr Sekendiz said it was never too late to make lifestyle changes, they didn't need to be drastic. Rather than spending hours at the gym, Dr Sekendiz said small increases in physical activity, like taking the stairs or walking children to school, could improve health.

Taking time to cook meals as a family instead of ordering fast food was also something Dr Sekendiz said would have children learning the right eating habits.

When it comes to sitting in front of a screen, she said making sure children, and adults, were taking a break and moving every 15 minutes was an effective way to help reduce diabetes risk.

Health of kids

Two in three eating cakes and biscuits daily

Six in 10 drinking sugary drinks daily

One in two sunburnt in the past year

Nine in 10 fully immunised at 5 years

One in ten 14 to 17-year-olds risky drinking

One in 30 14 to 17-year-olds smoking daily

Source: The Health of Queenslanders 2014

Topics:  children's health cquniversity obesity

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