SA kids fatter, smoking, drinking more

2011-02-09 22:35

Pretoria - South African children are getting fatter, and the number of those drinking and smoking in adolescence is peaking, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Overall, they scored a disappointing C-minus in the Healthy Active Kids SA 2010 Report Card.

This was due to unhealthy eating, smoking, drinking and lack of physical activity, the study said.

It expressed concern over the proportion of overweight and obese children, which had increased from 17% in the last report card, in 2007, to 20% last year.

"Being overweight and inactive increases the risk of a host of life-threatening diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease," the study said.

More screen-time, less physical action

Only 42% of young people participated in sufficient vigorous physical activity, down from 45% in 2007.
Hours dedicated to television or computers stood at 30%, up from 25% in 2007.

Less than 70% of high school learners had regularly scheduled physical education classes, and the rates were lowest among schools in poor communities.

Unhealthy eating was also a major concern, the study said.

Nearly 30% of teens consumed fast food two to three times a week.

One of the major barriers to healthy eating was affordability of healthy food, which cost almost twice as much as the unhealthy equivalent.

More smokers

The prevalence of smoking among adolescents had remained constant since 2007, despite a hike in the age at which young people could legally buy cigarettes from 16 to 18.

Smoking was more common among boys than girls, and in urban areas.

One in five teenagers surveyed admitted to being current smokers. This was well above the global prevalence for children and youth.

Although there were signs of greater awareness and an increasing number of intervention programmes by government such as introducing physical education into the curriculum, and encouraging schools to have vegetable gardens, this had yet to yield results, study co-author Professor Vicki Lambert said.

The Healthy Active Kids SA Report Card 2010 drew on over 95 published studies and reports.
The previous report was for 2007.

  • flamewulf - 2011-02-09 23:11

    Disgusting. They should be shown exactly how harmful smoking is to their health (black lungs, rotten teeth) and ask they if they really want that. If they do, by all means they can go ahead. They should also be shown just how retarded they look when they smoke.

      James - 2011-02-10 07:33

      To each his own- being overweight and not doing exercise is far more harmful than smoking!

      lacisnesnon - 2011-02-10 08:42

      I dont know about that one James, your heart might recover from stress injuries but the lungs will ALWAYS retain the tar AND smoking annoys the hell out of non-smokers in clubs and other places. It's really selfish to assume everyone wants to be 2nd-hand smokers :-)

      mm - 2011-02-10 09:23

      Why are you complaining about second hand smoke? Smokers have been targeted a lot and these days you can hardly find any place where you can still smoke. If clubs allow it inside, it is their responsibility and they could get into trouble for that. Other than that, non smokers are really minimally exposed to second hand smoke. To me drinking teens are far far worse than smoking teens. And that can kill you much faster and perhaps even those around you than second hand smoke could ever. No one commits a crime when they have smoked a cigartette. Obesity is also as bad. Fat kids become fat adults.

      carina - 2011-02-10 10:57

      @flamewulf - there is a subject that is compulsory called 'lewensorientering'. I think they call it lifestudy in English. Point beeing - the kids know all to well exactly what smoking, drinking, sex and all those things can do to them. If they still choose tho do it, it isn't due to lack of information.

      Krush - 2011-02-10 12:33

      @mm. I hate the smell of smoke. Whether in a club, walking in the street, sitting in a restaurant. Plus I end up with sinus problems 24 hours later. It's a disgusting habit and non-smokers don't have to like it nor tolerate it. If you need to go for a pee you use the urinal, if you do it in public expect the consequences. If you want to smoke, do it in your own house. If you want to take a crap, do it in a toilet.

      willierobbie - 2011-02-10 13:45

      @Krush. You are comparing smoking to taking a crap.....??? Allot of people go out to clubs or restaurants and get hammered with alcohol. Then they get in their car and try to drive home. These people are a HAZARD to society and a danger to other drivers as well as pedestrians!Not people who smoke in public!

      Krush - 2011-02-10 14:29

      @willierobbie. I don't like excess of alcohol either. I just don't see why everyone is trying to justify the one while crucifying the other. It's all equally rotten.

      mm - 2011-02-10 14:33

      @Krush, and just because YOU don't like the smell of it, no one is allowed to smoke? Isn't that a bit selfish? I am all for designated smoking areas, because yes, I do believe that non smokers should not have to breathe in smoke if they chose not to smoke. But as much as you hate it, you do not own the outside air. So you cannot expect people not to smoke outside. You breathe in much more toxic fumes from cars and other factories blown into the air, which is just as deadly. Should hey ban those too? It is called mutual respect...

      Shamwari - 2011-02-10 14:37

      Aaaagh, yes smoking is bad but it dont make you act loony... a sober mind helps you think better and thats what these kids need and some exercise. remember some of these kids have their first beer with theri parents, which is fine but addiction to alcohol is far worse to society than your smokes...

  • New Grunt+ - 2011-02-10 00:06

    They are displaying heavy stress symptoms. Why are we so surprised?

      clint51585 - 2011-02-10 07:24

      stress my arse, they need to get bliksemed like we were and compelled to play sport, cell phones in primary school what bullshit, thanks to the ANC we going the American route of juvenile delinquents. Thanks to the ANC kids dont cycle to school anymore and parents are fully to blame for smoking drinking and fast food.

      lacisnesnon - 2011-02-10 08:43

      Fully agree Clint. My sister is a subA teacher and she is struggling with two kids because they wont behave. A simple stinging of the buttocks would sort that out instantly!

      MasterMo - 2011-02-10 11:02

      @Clint...what does the ANC have to do with this?? The ruling party has never stopped anyone from cycling...retard.

      hantiejansenvanvuuren - 2011-02-10 12:21

      @MasterMo - the ANC is responsible for keeping us safe. I'm an adult and I'm not brave enough to cycle on my own. The criminals just push you off the bike and takes it.

      Krush - 2011-02-10 12:35

      @master mo. The anc is to blame for the excessive crime, it's not safe to cycle to school anymore. If you dont have to worry about your bike being stolen you need to watch out for being killed by a taxi on the way. And yes, it's the ANC's fault.

      Frank - 2011-02-10 20:45

      @ hantiejansenvanvuuren and Clint... if you can't defend your bike you sound like the kind of weaklings who doen't deserve one - catch the bus losers. The ANC has nothing to do with you being unable to grow a pair

      Kenko - 2011-07-07 13:26

      Frank, you are right, but one can hardly expect a child to defend himself against a knife- or gun-wielding thug. Children should not be expected to go to school armed to the teeth. That aside, children don't WANT to cycle to school anymore. It's just not "kool" they say.

  • Peter - 2011-02-10 06:02

    As long as kids think smoking adds to their 'I'm just so cool!' status they will smoke. Making a fuss adds to that. Educate through documentaries, yes; then leave them to it. In last year (2010) I read that smoking just give the smoker the illusion they feel calmer; in fact, every puff is such an assault on their body that their system goes into a mild spasm - which creates the illusion they feel calmer.

      Saamprater - 2011-02-10 06:17

      Peter. Kids don't do as you say they must do, they only, only, only follow the examples of those they deem to be "idols". If we look at what is being held up as the examples for them to follow, we musn't be surprised at the outcome of this study. I'm surprised its not worse. We need a total regeneration of moral standards by the elders to set set a proper example for the kids, but with a prezzie that have 20-odd kids, where do we start?

      InternetMan - 2011-07-07 13:00

      You should try it Peter. Maybe then you will fit in. Also, CRACK COCAINE.

  • Saamprater - 2011-02-10 06:12

    Monkey see, monkey do. Thanks to Blue Label Julius Malema et all. we have the best example out there for the youth of this country, and to think its anc sponsored as well. Makes you think doesn't it?

      MasterMo - 2011-02-10 11:14

      Saampreter, I'm not a big Malema fan, but what does he have to do with this?? He is the one advocating for bottle stores to be more strict and not open on Sundays at all...I sense some racial undertones here.

      Krush - 2011-02-10 12:38

      @MasterMo. 1) He confessed to getting drunk constantly and having drinking binges on live television - and thought it was quite amusing. 2) He was opposed to the new hours implemented in CT for the closing of clubs and liquor being served....he said "helen zille's" law doesn't apply to "the anc club at the waterfront."

  • rjstephens01 - 2011-02-10 06:55

    Yep thats the way, no prospects for the future, where are the promised jobs for school leavers, ban the cigarette adverts, raise the smoking age, that only drives kids to do it more, forbidden pleasures always give a bigger kick, I wish smoking was allowed from birth, then I would never have started as it would have been no big deal to do something legal. The warning and adverts on the harm smoking does have been around for ever. It's never made a difference, kids think they are invincible and tthose problems only happens to old people, and if there are no future prospects(jobs) who cares...go ahead smoke as if there is no tomorrow. And we wonder why smoking/drinking/obesity is on the rise.

  • kznsc - 2011-02-10 07:26

    Stolen goods and counterfeit cigarettes. More roadblocks to check what goes into townships than what comes out.

  • Viv - 2011-02-10 07:26

    Take away the playstation, PSP, Xbox, cellphones, tv's and general other things that parents use as babysitters these days. Make school sports compulsory (unless there is a valid medical condition) and get the fat little b@stards outside. I know that parents have little time or energy these days but since you made them you need to pay them the attention that they need. Take them outside and play with them instead of replying on technology to babysit your kids. As for the so called 'stress' kids apparently are under these days - bull$hit! Kids today can fail at whatever they do and its okay - dont worry we will give you another shot or give you another 15% to help you out. Kids of today dont know what stress is. And if they think school is stressful - bloody hell make sure you never leave! The stesses of being an adult are immense and if the poor little sausages cant cope with silly little school stress then they will all be in institutions or offing themselves within the first year of real work. We allow our kids to get away with too much these days. A swift klap is all they need. And no not beat the kid but make sure they understand if they pull their weight there are consequences. Sheesh wish I could be a kid of today and get away with all sorts of crap!

      63Starlight - 2011-02-10 08:35

      Viv, I agree. Back in the day, corporal punishment was the reward for bad behaviour regardless of sex. Cuts across the hands for girls and cuts across the buttocks for boys. The humiliation and shame were deterant enough. Detention was just that detention. Strict adherance to uniform rules. Even the big granny school panties. No make up and jewelery. We were taught respect for elders and school. We were proud to represent our schools academically and on the sport field. Punishment in class was a class action. It taught you to evaluate and think before acting. I walked 2kms a day to school and back. Athletics was compulsory and we had to participate in 2 activities and sex and violence was not one of them. Unfortunately, the government has taken away parental and teacher rights to discipline children. So I understand how the children are "stressed" today.

      Mizer - 2011-02-10 08:57

      @63Starlight...Good comment there.I fully agree with you.We were made to participate in school choir,debates,cleaning of school gorunds and other activities that kept us occupied from mayhem.I remember we used to compete in class for top ten position by improving on our grades. If one fails, we knew very well that, few lashes were coming down hi/her way. It was so fun we didnt think about sex/booze/parties and other things. There were no play stations and cell phones either.I always look back with a smile how i grew up:-)It made me be the person that i am now.I wish school kids could read our comments

  • ET - 2011-02-10 07:31

    Well, if it was safe to cycle or walk to school - like I did as a child - they would be a lot more active because then they could play outside as well.... but now we are scared of our kids being kidnapped or killed. "Lovely" country we live in!

  • AGENT - 2011-02-10 07:41

    Bring back the rod , bring back the dissipline , bring back accountability for your actions in school. This slapgat generation is being let down and I fear we are once again in a "reactive" situation , rather than a "preventative" situation. The way things have been going the past couple of years it's no suprise the kids wipe there arses of rules , respect and dissipline. As hulle nie will luister nie , dan moet hulle maar voel.

  • allie - 2011-02-10 07:41

    You guys forget,we are not a first world country any more.We are the USSA. A modern Nigeria.We are so sporty,we have the best stadiums whitemoney can buy.

  • carlokie - 2011-02-10 07:44

    Ek dink dis tyd dat kinders se gatte weer aan die brand geslaan moet word!!!!

  • - 2011-02-10 08:17

    Are there actually any real supprises in these findings? Children of today have more say than an adult has.

      birdman - 2011-02-10 08:54

      You just have to look at Julius to ratify this statement!

  • Lightdancer. - 2011-02-10 08:18

    our kids are a product of our society...maybe it is time we as adults take a little responsibility too...we have created what we now condemn!!!!

      thabiso.marumo - 2011-02-10 09:02

      you are right my friend, most adults are not active themselve after they seat the whole day at work, get in the car seat drive home, get home seat watch the news or read a news paper, this is what most kids do this days, go to school seat the whole day doing class work which is mostly paper work, go home seat do your homework by the time the kid is finished including watching their daily fix of what ever program they like on TV they go to sleep, wake up the following day do the samething as the day before all over again.

      InternetMan - 2011-07-07 12:58

      Yes everyone should stop doing what they want and listen to us! lol..

  • Don - 2011-02-10 08:31

    Gee Whizz...,not only STUPID kids but fat and unhealthy too!

  • Samia - 2011-02-10 08:33

    Too much freedom i say, they have more rights than the parents, you cant even slap your child then the child can go open a case against you, well i say seen that the goverment gives the child so much of freedon let them take them , grow them up and school them and feed them and sit with all the crap that comes with kids. Dont get me wrong i love my kids to bits but thats because i taught them values and respect and i sure as hell do not let them run wild. As for girls they will be babies until they get married. Parent be strict on your kids no parties that are after six, if they get angry so what, make sure that parties are supervised by the parents of the birthday kid.

  • Fikile - 2011-02-10 09:21

    What did you expect. R100 000 000,42 spent on a youth festival(party) in so that the youth can eat, drink and smoke more. Then you end up with fat youth. spend R100m on sport development and youth development. ANC my brothers beware your days will be numbered if this continues. Our people are hungry have no jobs, white's and the BEE's knees want us to work like slaves in our own country. We will have a true workers revolution, the revolution movement have been hijacked by the neo-capitalist in our ranks, keep us uneducated at your own detriment, cause when our kids stave we will turn on u, so be very careful, u can fool some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time

  • 4daluvofSA - 2011-02-10 09:38

    I thought this only hapened in the UK! Whats next, are they going to start shooting each other in school because of stress? Parents, remove your guns from your Bakkies!

  • hjvvuuren - 2011-02-10 09:39

    Well If God made grass and man made booze. You do you trust. If heard that saying many times. I would rather be smoking than drinking. I do both. Smoking kills you over a long term. Booze can kill you instantly. At the end no-body can tell you what you must and must not do. When I was in England they band smoking indoors. I could feel the difference inside. It is much better. Smoking indoors makes you wobbly even a smoker. Do what you want. Its your life.

      InternetMan - 2011-07-07 12:57

      Rational comment. +1

  • ji - 2011-02-10 09:43

    what do you expect , the ANC has f cked the country up so it is only logical the children will be f ck ups .

      Lerato - 2011-02-10 10:03

      its not the ANC its a choice an individual make alone whether old or young

      ji - 2011-02-10 10:42

      @Lerato , who did away with punishment in schools , who cost the country all our good teachers and doctors , who allowed our SAP to become useless and corrupt , who can`t stop the drug trade , who will not have a death senence for drug dealers and other law breakers , who destroyed the values children were taught before the ANC came into power .... THE USELESS ANC AND ANCYL , SO YES BLAME THE ANC .

  • Bluddy Agent - 2011-02-10 10:05

    I say go for it, survival of the fittest, everyone for himself, keeps the population down, if they are told smoking and drinking is bad for them and they still do it so be it, its their choice choice and their decision.

  • Martinella - 2011-02-10 10:09

    Ex-Canadian This is what is happening in Canada and other countries, you are not allowed to be the parent like in the old days then the law jumps on you and the same law will not help when you have trouble with your kids. We had hell in Canada raising our kids because they are the BOSS and can do what ever they want and you cant do a thing and if you do you end up in jail and that is no lie. Thanks to the new government but its ok if they murder people

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-10 10:49

    If the parents lifted their fat asses and started leading the way, we would have less of these OBESE LITTLE TROLLS rolling around. Parents should be fined and charged with abuse if their kids fall into the obese category.

  • daboss247365 - 2011-02-10 10:55

    This has been a long time coming. I remember my school days. After all the sports, come home, at a young age, play in the garden, race around on the bike, run around, & maybe, maybe a bit of TV here and there. These days, the only exercise I see in the kids is pushing buttons on

  • JustMe - 2011-02-10 11:34

    I cannot believe this, now even bad parenting skills is blamed on the ANC! come on ppl we live in a world where children are exposed to more information than it was 10 or even 15 years ago. This means parents have to change the way you parent your children. Stop looking back and say "back then".Come on look forward and what's around you, find out how you can do better as a parent and I say this loudly STOP INDULGING YOUR KIDS THEY WILL NEVER LEARN RESPECT AND HARD WORK. The world is changing and so should you.

  • Krush - 2011-02-10 12:30

    Shows you how rotten the parents are? How can you allow your child to get so obese (other than for medical reasons), smoke etc. It's because you are not involved in your child's life. There is always an exception with a child, but in the majority it's just due to bad parenting.

  • Krush - 2011-02-10 12:42

    Instead of having things like carbon emission taxes, paying levies on fuel and having to pay a stupid toll to drive on a road - how about putting heavy taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. Afterall, these things are luxuries. Put tax on it, make it very expensive, that should help curb the usage. I shudder to think what the anc will use the tax for though. Probably their own sushi parties.

  • AndreK71 - 2011-02-10 12:58

    We as parents allow this! We buy take away food, allow them to smoke hubbly and everyone think is so much safer than Cigarettes despite warnings from the CANSA. We buy them xbox, play station, blackberry phones that never leave their hands, they don't go out and play ball and enjoy fresh air

      Cynical_BStd - 2011-02-10 13:15

      SPOT ON - many parents / gaurdians think they cool by allowing kids the freedom and flexibility

  • Alwyn - 2011-02-10 13:15

    Of course they would,they have JUJU MALEMA as their Idol and example

  • Podgette - 2011-02-10 14:32

    Where do these kids get the money to support a smoking and drinking habits? They are definitely not cheap passtimes! Parents WAKE UP!! stop indulging these ungrateful, disrespectful(most of them)children.

  • Jacques - 2011-02-10 16:04

    The main problem that youngsters face is that their is no alternative to occupy them. Every activity out their includes opportunities and friends where smoking and alcohol play and other 'bad' activities. Why? My experience is that our youth do not have contact with any ACCEPTABLE religious activities i.e. not acceptable to them, our youth. Churches should forget about planting evangelistic tents in India and spend all their time in evangelizing the biggest population that do not participate in religious activities - our youth. Most of them do not attend any church services nor are they interested in attending. Again, WHY. It is because their is either no services dedicated to the youth or the youth services is normally given a low priority, a new inexperienced pastor,priest or even one who is still studying. Get the youth involved, EDUCATE and MOTIVATE church leaders that this is the most important part of their mission. Get a dynamic preacher for your youth services, not the worst one in your congregation (that is what normally happens), occupy your youth via cell groups every day of the week if need be. Do you have a service dedicated to youth-only on nights like Fridays. If you don't then how can you expect them not to go have a joll at the local club or go get drunk with a friend. You must provide a religion choice for them. Individual Cell groups must do things together like go to movies, camping, have a bonding night etc.

  • webcoffee - 2011-02-10 18:03

    Its becoming a well known fact that the moral fibre of society is coming apart. The youth are getting out of control with no respect. This is because of the fact that parents are either too busy with their careers, or dont have a career and are drinking and neglecting their kids. Also had the easy access to porn, alchohol and peer pressure, its all down hill.

  • patrickb - 2011-07-07 12:38

    How the hell do kids afford cigarettes? It cost R800-R900.00 to smoke x20 a day.

  • Goose - 2011-07-07 12:53

    I am very pro American. But the idea for an emerging nation is to learn from the western world, and do 'better', not to 'copy'.

      InternetMan - 2011-07-07 13:15

      Yes no. By all means.

  • InternetMan - 2011-07-07 12:54

    Damn kids trying to enjoy their lives! Get off my lawn!

      InternetMan - 2011-07-07 13:14

      I just noticed that most of the comments are from feb. I love talking to myself.

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