Think that video games, television, and the internet are to blame for the growing increase obesity rates in children? Take a look in the mirror, because it turns out that parents have more to do with the epidemic then they would like to admit.
A new study conducted at Oregon State University in the United States discovered that parenting styles actually play a very large role in just how active young children tend to be. In fact, according to the results of the study, parenting actually was more important and a larger factor in determining the activity level of a child than television or any gadgets.
Overall, the researchers stated that most children aged two to four spent at least four to five hours every day in some type of sedentary activity, a number that does not take into account meal times and naps which are considered standard ‘down’ times for any child.
Researchers discovered that children that had parents who did not spend much time with them on a regular basis and/or were not home very much often ended up spending at least thirty more minutes glued to some type of screen versus the children that had more involved parents.
In another study also conducted by the researchers, it was found that in order to get kids to be more active all that was needed was a little encouragement and hands-on parenting. Parents that took time out to play with their children throughout the week were able to encourage their kids to be more active easily.
Good news for parents that may not be the most athletic or energetic by the end of the day, parents that watching their children while playing or at least helped drive them to activities were also able to increase the amount of activity their children participated in regularly.