45% of parents not a healthy role model


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Parents play a big part in the development of healthy habits in their children but according to a new survey they may not be the best role model. Some parents admit when it comes to being active and eating healthy, they could do better.

Creating healthy eating and activity habits early in life can help kids avoid or manage health problems like obesity, stress, or heart disease. Kids who grow up learning to make healthy choices and stay active are also more likely to be successful, according to Business Insider.

16.2% of kids between the ages of 10-17 were considered obese nationwide in 2019-2020. New York had a slightly better percentage (11.5%) down from 14.8% in 2016, according to stateofchildhoodobesity.org. The percentage of obese adults in the state was 26.3% which has risen from 17.1% in 2000.

More than half (55%) of 1,006 parents polled by Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago said they did not set a good example for limiting the amount of time they spent sitting. 49% admitted they were not a good role model for staying fit and active. 35% admitted not setting a good example for healthy eating and 30% said they weren’t a good role model for avoiding overeating.

“Arguably, there is no more powerful influence on a child’s preventive health profile than behavior they see modeled by their parents. Of course, there are complex influences at every level of the family, and many adults struggle to eat well and be active even without the added burden of being an influence on children,” the hospital said.

Creating healthy habits in kids is further complicated by the fact 56% of parents say their children are less active than they were at the same age. These are the things parents said were different between their childhood and their kids:

  • 94%- said they played outside more than their kids
  • 74%- said their kids are on phones/computers more than they were
  • 63%- said their kids play more video games
  • 40%- said their kids watch more television
  • 39%- said they played at school more than their kids
  • 34%- said they played inside more than their kids

51% of parents said a diet high in sugar was as much a health risk as smoking. However, 68% also said they used food to reward kids and 39% admitted to using food to get children to behave a certain way.

More information from the survey can be found on the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s website. For ways to encourage your kid to say active visit healthychildren.org. To learn more about what a healthy diet consists of, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


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