Tuesday 20 February 2018

Schools can do the math

October, 2010. An Irish Sports Council report bears good news on the participation of children in sport. Among its findings are that 74 per cent of primary school pupils play sport at least two days per week, while an impressive 83 per cent engaged in sporting activity outside of school. An impressive 31 per cent walked or cycled to school.

The figures were up on previous surveys and evidence, it was claimed, of the link between participation in sport and the health of children.

November, 2011. "Parents will outlive children if obesity keeps growing," run the headlines after a government-commissioned report reveals that more than a quarter of Irish nine-year-olds are unhealthily fat and seven per cent of them are obese.

The results offered an "appalling vista" for the country's future health, according to Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.

While it's not just a lack of playing sport that contributes to weight issues, shouldn't somebody join the dots here?

The report makes clear that girls are more likely to be overweight than boys and that kids from poorer backgrounds are also more susceptible.

So surely this begs the question: for all the good work being done in schools, are the right kids being targeted?


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