45% of parents are not a healthy role model

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Parents play an important role in developing healthy habits in their children, but according to a new survey, they may not be the best role models. Some parents admit that when it comes to being active and eating healthy, they could do better.

Adopting healthy eating and activity habits from an early age can help children avoid or manage health issues like obesity, stress or heart disease. Children who grow up learning to make healthy choices and stay active are also more likely to succeed, according to Business Insider.

16.2% of children aged 10-17 were considered obese nationally in 2019-20. New York had a slightly better percentage (11.5%) compared to 14.8% in 2016, according to stateofchildhoodobesity.org. The percentage of obese adults in the state was 26.3%, down from 17.1% in 2000.

More than half (55%) of 1,006 parents surveyed by Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago said they had not set a good example by limiting the time they spent sitting. 49% admitted they were not a good role model for staying fit and active. 35% admitted to not being a good example when it comes to healthy eating and 30% said they were not a good role model for avoiding overeating.

“Arguably, there is no more powerful influence on a child’s preventive health profile than the behavior he sees modeled by his parents. Of course, there are complex influences at all levels of the family, and many adults struggle to eat well and be active even without the added burden of influencing children,” the hospital said. .

Creating healthy habits in children is further complicated by the fact that 56% of parents say their children are less active than they were at the same age. Here are the things parents said were different between their childhood and their children:

  • 94% – said they played outside more than their children
  • 74% – said their children use phones/computers more than they used to
  • 63% – said their children played more video games
  • 40% – said their children watch more TV
  • 39% – said they played more at school than their children
  • 34% – said they play indoors more than their children

51% of parents said a high-sugar diet was as much of a health risk as smoking. However, 68% also said they used food to reward children and 39% admitted to using food to get children to behave in a certain way.

More information about the investigation can be found on the Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago website. For ways to encourage your child to be active, visit healthychildren.org. To learn more about healthy eating, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Rebecca R. Santistevan