Junk food hits young waistlines

Too much junk food and too little exercise have combined to add kilos to many Greek children in a societal problem that is being compounded by excessive workloads being imposed on youngsters, experts said yesterday. According to Haralambos Hadziathanasiou, the head of the endocrinology department at the Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital, the lack of recreational areas and hectic school schedules have contributed to children’s weight problems. A survey of 767 children held between 2000-04 by the hospital found that seven in 10 consumed sugary snacks every day while 57 percent said that they did not exercise regularly. Only 10 percent of children said that they engage in some sort of physical activity on a regular basis. In order to deal with the problem, parents need to give more attention to their children’s dietary habits and encourage them to exercise by offering moral support that continually offers rewards, Hadziathanasiou added.