Babies should exercise, to avoid obesity later in life
Written By Betty van der Mark on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | 3:28 AM
In a new campaign against obesity, the British government issued guidelines on Monday recommending that children under the age of five exercise every day. The guidelines recommend children under five be physically active for at least three hours per day, they also say that babies should be doing tummy time or in-swim lessons with their parents to help them gain strength. The goal is to avoid obesity when the children become adults. Doctors say exercise prevents heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers later in life. More than one in 10 children ages 2 to 10 are obese, according to the U.K. Department of Health. Now, for the first time, exercise recommendations released by the agency aim to prevent and reduce obesity, not just among the pub-going masses, but among a much-younger group: children under age 5. Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Tony Jewell yesterday said: “For the first time we’re giving parents advice on how much exercise or activity their under fives should be doing – three hours a day when they’ve learnt to walk. “When you are talking about babies, it’s about having them on a mat reaching for things – have some tummy time. “You can do baby yoga, you can do baby gyms – but you don’t have to. “If you have a mat or a towel on the floor you can just let them play. Toys are always great but you don’t need them.