A doctor has recommended that children must stand or squat rather than sitting at school to prevent the rise of obesity, according to an article by the Daily Mail.
Author and doctor Rangan Chatterjee told The Sunday Telegraph, as cited by Daily Mail Online, that he “wants to see standing desks in school as normal.” Moreover, he encouraged children to squat instead of sitting because sitting for six hours a day is bad for the back and weight of the children. Research has revealed that using a standing desk for at least three hours per day for five days a week can burn 30,000 extra calories in a year, which is equivalent to 10 marathons. Chatterjee is the host of BBC’s Doctor in the House and is a member of a group of health experts that fight against the obesity epidemic.
His suggestions come in response to the obesity crisis. While they may seem extreme, something needs to be done. In a report by the World Health Organization in 2017, the number of obese children and adolescents – aged five to 19 years old – has increased ten times in the past 40 years. The report was based on the study, published in The Lancet, that assessed the weight and height measurements of about 130 million people who were five years old and above. To date, this is the largest number of participants involved in an epidemiological study. For the study, over 1,000 contributors analyzed body mass index (BMI) and how obesity changed globally from 1975 to 2016.
Results of the study revealed that obesity rates in children and adolescents worldwide rose from less than one percent or 11 million boys and girls in 1975 to almost 14 percent or 124 million children in 2016. Furthermore, an additional 213 million were overweight but not obese in 2016.
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“These worrying trends reflect the impact of food marketing and policies across the globe, with healthy nutritious foods too expensive for poor families and communities. The trend predicts a generation of children and adolescents growing up obese and at greater risk of diseases, like diabetes. We need ways to make healthy, nutritious food more available at home and school, especially in poor families and communities, and regulations and taxes to protect children from unhealthy foods,” lead author Majid Ezzati explained.
Energy drinks add to the many causes of obesity
In order to lessen the number of overweight or obese people, Chatterjee hoped that the selling of sugar-rich energy drinks to children below 16 years old be banned.
Research shows that energy drinks contain huge and unnecessary amount of sugars. For the research, the campaign and research group, Action on Sugar, conducted a survey on 197 energy drinks. Out of these energy drinks, results showed that 78 percent would be reported to contain high amounts of sugar per serving – with approximately half of it containing the same amount or more sugars than Coca Cola per 100 mL. This is the equivalent to a huge nine teaspoons of sugar per 330 mL can. To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommended sugar intake limit for men. Meanwhile, it is more than the AHA’s recommended added sugar consumption limit per day for women, which is six teaspoons.
“Children are being deceived into drinking large cans of this stuff, thinking they are going to improve their performance at school, during sports, or even on a night out. In reality all they are doing is increasing their risk of developing obesity or type-2 diabetes which will have lifelong implications on their health. Type-2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, limb amputation and kidney dialysis – hardly the image of a healthy, active person,” said Graham MacGregor, a professor at Queen Mary University London and the chairman of Action on Sugar.
Learn more about the connection between sugar and obesity at Sweeteners.news.