A new study from the U.K. has found that kids tend to gain weight over the summer holidays. The study that followed approximately 400 kids was done by UK Active, and took place over 13 months. This weight gain is guessed to be largely the product of inactivity.
The kids they followed appeared to have dramatically reduced activity levels over the summer holidays, as opposed to what they usually get throughout the school year. They found that of the kids they studied, the amount of them that went back to school overweight increased by a fifth. The Sun cited their findings as showing that the fitness level of kids went down by 80% over summer. Of the kids they studied, 20% were found to be overweight, which jumped up to 24% after the summer holidays. These are some pretty drastic numbers for such a short time period, seeing as the average summer break lasts only about 6 weeks.
It is thought that this is from kids having more access to electronics and screens, rather than playing outside. Their findings are concerning for medical professionals.
UK Active is charity, and has issued a statement urging parents to encourage their kids to still be active and eat healthily over the summer months. When kids are at home over the summer holidays, they may have more access to junk food, and according to a new survey by grocery chain Sainsbury, may be spending as much as 4 hours per day on their devices. That is a lot of inactivity for anybody.
As with most things, it is so important to monitor your children's screen time and encourage them to have some balance in their lives. Additionally, you can help as a parent by modeling a healthy and active lifestyle. Your children may be looking to you to show them what is typical when it comes to nutrition and exercise. It can be so hard to keep them busy in the summer months, so going outdoors with them and doing some active things together as a family can help.