There was a time when parents including mine were worried if their child is getting proper nutrition and often ended up complaining to the doctors that their kid is not having adequate food. I remember my mother complaining to the doctor that I don’t take milk; I don’t go beyond two toasts or one egg. The Doctor asked if I played mischief and my Mom answered ‘Yes she can turn the house over’. Then don’t worry, said the Doctor, your child is fine.
Today when I find my kids glued to the Television or the Video games, I often wonder what they are losing! Two in Five Kids are turning into couch potatoes and research shows that mothers are responsible for this situation.
The kids of today are not the kids of yesteryear’s and are not ‘just active’ , parents have a big role to play in inculcating healthy habits very early in life.
Kathryn Hesketh of University College London said, “We saw a direct, positive association between physical activity in children and their mothers – the more activity a mother did, the more active her child,”
The study focused its attention on the 554 mothers, many of which were working women and their children attended day care facilities. The study looked at factors which can influence the activity levels of the mother and the child as well as the interaction between them. Other variables which were examined in the studies included maternal education, if the child had sibling, if father was present in the home.
The mother and child were both fitted with Actiheart monitors which is a combined accelerometer and heart rate monitor and enabled the researchers to record physical activity levels to a very high level of accuracy.
The gadgets allowed researchers to continuously monitor the activity levels all times even when the participants were in sleep or in the pool.
The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics, advocates policies which will seek to engage whole families and mothers in particular to improve children health. As the adage goes When Moms Get Active, Kids Also Follows.