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Poor child health in Germany

Poor child health in Germany

Survey among doctors: Children's health in Germany has deteriorated
26.06.2013

Health problems in children have increased in recent years. This emerges from a survey among doctors. Many children have too little exercise and therefore suffer from obesity or motor problems. Often parents who set a bad example are to blame.

Obesity, back pain, movement disorders
Pediatricians believe that children's health in Germany has deteriorated over the past ten years. Unhealthy eating, too little exercise and too much time in front of the computer and television are the reasons for health problems such as overweight, back pain or movement disorders. This was the result of a survey by the Forsa Institute on behalf of DAK-Gesundheit, which was carried out among 100 pediatricians nationwide on children's health. "Almost all medical experts surveyed (94 percent) noticed an increase in obesity," said the DAK. “80 percent of the respondents see an increase in motor deficits among minors.” In addition, more than half of the doctors noticed that back pain and poor posture have increased.

Half of the doctors believe deterioration
The survey found that different health problems accumulate in different age groups. Disorders of the musculoskeletal system particularly often affect three to five year olds, six to eight year olds often experience weight problems and eleven to 14 year olds often experience back pain or poor posture. With 51 percent of the doctors surveyed, almost half believe that the general health of children in Germany has deteriorated in the past ten years. 39 percent of doctors believe that he has improved.

Role model for parents
The survey participants saw various causes that posed a risk to children's health. 96 percent stated lack of exercise as a problem, unhealthy nutrition was criticized by 92 percent of the doctors and 89 percent recognized a lack of a positive role model function of the parents. The result that the number of overweight children has risen continuously, and that this is often family-related, was also the result of a joint investigation by the Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Obesity Diseases, the Pediatrician Network CrescNet, and Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Leipzig University Hospital . Many parents apparently lack awareness of their children's weight problems. Dr. Susann Blüher, the head of the cooperation project, said that in many families "awareness of the negative consequences of being overweight must first be created." Such programs are more important today than ever, as around 80 percent of overweight children remain fat as adults. In addition, diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular complaints are becoming more common in children and adolescents due to being overweight, the expert explained.

Physical education and exercise by parents are often poor
Of the doctors surveyed as part of the DAK survey, 49 percent rated too little or poor physical education in schools as a risk factor. The health fund announced that the first signs of a lack of exercise could be found in the regular child care, the so-called U-examinations. Parents often have a problem with objectively assessing whether their child is moving enough. "Most of the time, your own movement behavior also shapes the urge for activity in the offspring," says Uwe Dresel from DAK-Gesundheit. "Children with active and health-conscious parents are often more likely to have access to sport and exercise." (Ad)

Image: Hannelore Louis / pixelio.de

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