According to the World Health Organization physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of major chronic diseases, yet even in those nations where physical activity is highest, only 43% of 11 year old boys and 31% of 11 year old girls take part in 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day. This drops to 33% of 15 year old boys and 17% of 15 year old girls. As the evidence grows that physical activity and fitness leads into adulthood, it is important to ensure that as many children and young people as possible meet the present guidelines. In addition, physical activities such as active play, individual and team sports, dance and creative pursuits are important for young people as they provide the opportunity for enjoyment, social interactions and community engagement.
JUMP, what is it?
JUMP (Juniors Understanding Meals & Physical Activity) is a course that offers children aged between 7&11 years old, the chance to have fun and learn about healthy foods. Not only for the children but parents/guardians have an opportunity to have fun with their child too. These sessions last an hour after school once a week, it is a 6 week course, with another session at week 12 and 18 as extra support sessions. This course will aim to increase physical activity and enchance the family’s knowledge on ‘Healthy’ and ‘Unhealthy’ Food.
There is an increasing body of evidence that demonstrates that children and young people can gain important physiological and psychological benefits if they undertake at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Physiology means the branch of biology dealing with the functions and activities of living organisms and the body. Psychology is the science of the mind. The human mind is the most complex machine on Earth. It is the source of all thought and behaviour
What Are The Physiological Outcomes?
Regular participation in physical activity is associated with the following
- improved cardiovascular fitness
- improved cardiovascular and metabolic health such as a 20-35% lower risk of cardiovascular disease including coronary heart disease, stroke and improved cholesterol profiles
- decreased risk of type 2 diabetes
- improved bone health
- reduced body fat and maintaining a healthy weight
- stronger muscles.
There is a growing body of evidence that there is a ‘dose-response’ relationship, in terms of physiological outcomes, that means the more physical activity done the better physiological outcomes are seen. There is also some evidence to support a positive association between physical activity and academic performance in 5-18 year olds.
What are the Psychological Outcomes?
Regular participation in physical activity is associated with the following psychological benefits in children:
- Improved self-confidence in young people aged 10- 16 years undertaking a ‘high-level’ of activity
- improved social skills, integration into peer groups and extending social networks for young people
- improved self-esteem in young people with a greater effect for children with perceptual, emotional and learning disabilities
- reduced anxiety and the potential for reduced depression
Healthy Food vs Unhealthy Foods?
Benefits of Healthy Eating
- Proper nutrition promotes the optimal growth and development of children
- Healthy eating helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure and helps reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes
- Healthy eating helps reduce one’s risk for developing obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, and tooth caries (cavities)
Consequences of a Poor Diet
- A poor diet can lead to energy imbalance (e.g., eating more calories than one expends through physical activity) and can increase one’s risk for overweight and obesity
- A poor diet can increase the risk for lung, oesophageal, stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancers
- Individuals who eat fast food one or more times per week are at increased risk for weight gain, overweight, and obesity
- Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can result in weight gain, overweight, obesity and tooth decay.
- Providing access to drinking water gives students a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages
Hunger and food insecurity might increase the risk for lower dietary quality and under nutrition. In turn, under nutrition can negatively affect overall health, cognitive development, and school performance.
Top tips to promote healthy childhood eating
Have regular family meals. Knowing dinner is served at approximately the same time every night and that the entire family will be sitting down together is comforting and enhances appetite. Breakfast is another great time for a family meal, especially since kids who eat breakfast tend to do better in school.
Get kids involved. Children enjoy helping adults to shop for groceries, selecting what goes in their lunch box, and preparing dinner. It’s also a chance for you to teach them about the nutritional values of different foods, and (for older children) how to read food labels.
Limit portion sizes. Don’t insist your child cleans the plate, and never use food as a reward or bribe.
If you found any of this information helpful please look out for the information on JUMP or on the FB page below or please don’t hesitate to contact me. JUMP is a great way for everyone to have fun and learn..
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