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Sweden to prescribe exercise to battle youth obesity

TT/The Local · 21 Jan 2010, 07:58

Published: 21 Jan 2010 07:58 GMT+01:00

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More and more Uppsala-area teenagers are overweight, the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) reports.

The situation is most serious for boys in their second year of high school, 23 percent of whom are obese.

In order to counter the development, school nurses plan to start prescribing physical activity to young people during their yearly health consultations.

The prescribed exercise can range from participation in a sport to going for walks several times a week.

In order to make it easier for the teens to carry out their prescribed exercise, slots will be reserved for them at local gyms.

“We want to change their habits. To get sedentary students going, get them to starting moving around and living healthier,” school physician Arely Rivero Ziaz told the newspaper.

Story continues below…

The project, which will last three years and be carried out at a few of the city’s primary and high schools, stems from a cooperative effort between Uppsala’s primary healthcare authorities, the local athletic association, and the child obesity section at the Uppsala University Hospital.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:50 January 21, 2010 by Glempa
Yes excercise is important for weight and general health, but the most importanmt thing with obesity is diet. Unfortunately that involves educating the parents as they are the ones who feed them.
16:15 January 21, 2010 by calebian22
How about prescribing no video games as well.
21:59 January 21, 2010 by xenyasai
Don't forget to teach them AND their family about a healthy diet. Exercise is all good and well, but without the correct diet it is almost effortless. I have seen my fair share of people who train almost everyday, but still don't lose any weight because of their diet.

@calebian22: What is wrong with video games? Is there a link between video games and obesity? They have found no link between violence and video games. There is actually a link between improved social skills and video games.

To be honest, I would rather see someone spend most of their free time playing some innocent games than going out binge drinking; if I may use the most extreme examples. Some people actually compete in tournaments and win money. I guess that is bad too? Earning money in something you are good at.
01:13 January 22, 2010 by soultraveler3

You're right

Gamers are also on average more healthy than their non-gamer counterparts. It really is just a bad sterotype that all gamers are fat, greasy pale guys.

I also agree with your last paragraph. I don't have children but if I did I'd much rather have them playing video games with some friends on the weekends rather than partying, binge drinking then screwing anyone willing.

I think this idea is wonderful and like others have said it needs to include some instruction on healthy eating as well.
05:29 January 22, 2010 by swede7814
I have to disagree with pretty much all of the comments, I think video games do contribute to obesity and social problems. Kids who sit in front of a screen all day everyday have trouble verbally expressing themselves and often times start eating without having any idea that they are doing it.

Also, obesity in Sweden will never be as bad as it is in the US. Swede's are way more conscious about how they look and what they wear! (not saying that is a bad thing)
15:25 February 16, 2010 by johnnyrebel
I propose building outdoor tennis courts in every community big and small. Has anyone else noticed the lack of public tennis courts in this society? It would be a great activity for young people and families as well. Maybe get the folks out of their apartments to socialize and exercise a bit.
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