South Africa is battling to get its children healthy.
This is evident in the 2016 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (Haksa) Report Card – coordinated by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA), supported by Discovery Vitality.
Dr. Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness, Discovery's incentive-based wellness programme says we need to invest in the health of our children.
This report is important to track progression if any, he says. While some policies have improved, physical participation of sports amongst kids is still lacking.
The food consumption is also moving in the wrong direction.— Dr. Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness, Discovery's incentive-based wellness programme
Nossel adds that it is the responsibility of adults, who are the decision makers to ensure children are not fed and bought junk food.
Children should at least be spending an hour a day of physical activities, he advises, as kids spend too much time on their technology devices and television.
Government policies and interventions are needed.— Dr. Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness, Discovery's incentive-based wellness programme
Nossel says parents should not allow televisions to babysit their children.
Involve children in basic household activities and chores to promote physical activity, like gardening for instance.
A collaborative effort between parents, health professionals, businesses, government, and schools is needed to improve the health of South Africa's future leaders, he concludes.
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