OAKLAND, Calif., April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- American families are facing a health crisis because parents are not prioritizing their kids' health, according to the findings of a recent study sponsored by the YMCA.
The national online survey, YMCA's Family Health Snapshot, included 1,630 parents of children ages 5 to 10 and was designed to discover the barriers to healthier living and physical activity today.
Key findings included:
- Parents are having a hard time getting kids healthy and active: technology, time and money are identified as key barriers.
- 42 percent of parents say there are too many distractions with the influence of technology (television, games, cell phones) to achieving a healthy lifestyle for their children
- 38 percent of parents feel extracurricular activities are too expensive and 38 percent feel there's just not enough time in the day to achieve a healthy lifestyle for their children
- Parents give themselves a good grade for providing a healthy home environment for their kids but aren't practicing healthy habits themselves.
- Almost 90 percent of parents say they provide a healthy home environment for their kids but 41 percent get 60 minutes of exercise less than one day a week
- 74 percent of parents opt to spend family time with their kids parked in front of the TV
- Economic realities force more parents to cut children's extracurricular activities.
- Although 93 percent of parents feel participation by their children in school sports or extracurricular activities is important, 52 percent of parents have cut back to some degree on after school activities to save money
- 41 percent of parents are cutting back on their children's extracurricular activities to save money for their family's future
- 39 percent of parents surveyed are paying all of their bills on time, but have little left over for extras and 29 percent of parents are making ends meet but have no time for extras for their kids
- Today's parents worry more about their children's financial health than their physical health.
- Only 15 percent of parents are concerned about their children's overall health
- 74 percent of children aged 5-10 do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day
- 58 percent of children aged 5-10 spend less than four days a week playing outdoors
- 50 percent of families play a sport together less than one day per week
From a local perspective a separate 2010 study by the Alameda County Public Health Department showed that among children, Pacific Islanders had the greatest overweight proportion (43.4%) and Asians the lowest (18.8%). One-third of males (33.2%) and one-quarter of females (25.2%) were overweight. The Sunol school district had the lowest percentage overweight (5.2%) and Emeryville the highest (50.3%).
To promote better family health, on Saturday, April 16, the YMCA of the East Bay is encouraging all kids and parents to come to the Y for a play date and commit to being active every day. It's all part of the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day™ – the nation's largest health day for families. The free events will take place at the YMCA of the East Bay branches.
Activities will range from biking on a spin cycle, to basketball games and yoga.
Healthy Kids Day will be celebrated at nearly 1,600 Ys across the country, with more than 700,000 families expected to attend this year.
Nationally, Healthy Kids Day is supported by the Dodge brand, PepsiCo and Sam's Club.
For more information, contact Vintage Foster at 925-790-2611 or visit http://www.ymcaeastbay.org/events/healthy-kids-day-2011
About the Y:
The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
SOURCE YMCA of the East Bay