Saturday 3 December 2016

Disadvantaged kids more likely to walk to school

Published 15/11/2016 | 02:30

Children from disadvantaged schools are more likely to walk to school. Photo: Getty Images
Children from disadvantaged schools are more likely to walk to school. Photo: Getty Images

Children from DEIS schools, which cater for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, are more likely to walk or cycle to school than normal.

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They are also more likely to play outside.

The findings emerged in a new HSE study which looked at the lifestyle habits for children attending these schools and regular schools. It found children in disadvantaged schools spend more time watching television during the week. It found 61.3pc of children in first class attending DEIS schools spent two hours or more watching television during the week compared to just 30.2pc in other schools.

Children in third class who attended schools under the DEIS programme were less likely to eat fresh fruit daily (45.5pc) compared to those in others schools (61.1pc). They were also less likely to eat vegetables daily (41.6pc).

However, first class DEIS schoolchildren were more likely to play outside for three hours or more at weekends compared to other students (74.9pc v 50.5pc). In addition, some 29.3pc of children in first class at DEIS schools walked or cycled to schools, compared with 14pc in others.

Over the 2010 and 2012 study period, which surveyed 3,000 families, more than nine out of 10 children from both first and third class were found to eat breakfast every morning. More than 80pc of first-class students were members of a sports club with almost 75pc participating in activities two days a week.

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