According to the latest measurement carried out as part of the Active MultiSport Schools movement education programme, over 20% primary school students in Poland are overweight. Since 1990 the level of excessive body weight among Polish children has increased by 131%.
In 2000 one in 10 children or teenagers aged 5 to 19 in the world struggled with being overweight or obese. Over the next dozen or so years the problem has doubled. As experts emphasise, Polish children are also gaining extra kilograms. The World Obesity Federation indicates that by 2030 almost one million children in Poland will be affected by obesity. Currently, the young generation (5-18 years old) in our country is about 6.7 million people.
Heavy weight of Polish children
– The latest measurements carried out among primary school students as part of the Active MultiSport Schools movement education programme show that one in five children in the Dolnośląskie Province and one in four children in the Mazowieckie Province has a problem with being overweight. The data regarding obesity of school children is particularly worrying because our measurements show that in the two provinces mentioned above it is 10% and 11% respectively. Obesity is a complicated chronic disease, which is why we should work intensively in the field of children's physical activation as well as find effective solutions to provide overweight kids and children with diagnosed obesity healthy childhood – says Adam Radzki, Management Board Member at Benefit Systems, the founder of the Active MultiSport Schools programme.
In Poland the problem of being overweight most often affects children between 10 and 12 years old. The study also shows that the problem with maintaining proper body weight appears 5% more often among boys than among girls.
– Looking at the growing obesity and overweight index, scientists associated with the World Obesity Federation predict that in 2025 around 12 million children around the world will have abnormal glucose tolerance, 4 million will have type 2 diabetes, 27 million will have hypertension, and 38 million will have fatty liver or fat accumulated in this organ. If these trends are maintained, there is a good chance that contemporary children will not only worsen the quality of their lives but, despite the improvement in the quality of healthcare, they will live shorter than their parents – says Dr Janusz Dobosz from the National Physical Activity Research Centre at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw, an expert of the Active MultiSport Schools education programme.
Obesity and overweight are problems that also affect younger and younger children. There are already twice as many obese pre-schoolers than 10 years ago. WHO warns that by 2025 there will be about 70 million children under the age of 5 with excessive body weight. According to UNICEF 2019 data, the problem of overweight among this age group includes 40 million children and is most visible in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Immobility and poor diet
Poor diet – rich in animal fats, simple sugars or salt – as well as insufficient level of physical activity among children are conducive to additional kilograms. Currently, only one in four children in Poland meets the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and exercises for at least 60 minutes a day.
– Children imitate adults, that's why as part of the Active MultiSport Schools programme, together with a group of experts, we have prepared a free guide to good practices to build healthy habits among the youngest. This is a set of tips on physical activity and healthy nutrition available on the programme’s website. We encourage everyone to use this material and draw inspiration in terms of an active lifestyle and healthy nutrition for children – encourages Adam Radzki.
The guide to good practices can be downloaded via the following link: https://bit.ly/2lQFqqt
More information about children's physical activity and the Active MultiSport Schools educational programme can be found at www.aktywneszkoly.pl
The founder of the Active MultiSport Schools programme is Benefit Systems while the V4Sport Foundation is responsible for its implementation.