Bumpy road to good intentions

Even though 89 percent of parents rate themselves good or excellent in providing a healthy home environment for their children, they aren't, according to a new YMCA survey of 1,630 parents.

USA Today reports that the survey shows most kids don't get enough daily exercise and don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 62 percent of parents with children ages 5 to 10 say their kids eat junk food one to four days a week. Only 14 percent of parents say their kids eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day.

Federal guidelines recommend that children get an hour or more of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity a day, but 74 percent of respondents say their kids don't get that much. In fact, only 16 percent say their kids play outside daily. Although two-thirds of parents say they make time to play with their children every day, the most frequent leisure activities are sedentary, such as playing card or board games or watching TV. In fact, 46 percent say their kids watch TV for at least two hours five or more days a week.

What do they consider the most serious roadblocks to their good intentions? Parents cite too many competing activities - especially social networks, computer games, TV and cellphones.

"Parents have really good intentions, but they are busy and have a lot of distractions so sometimes they make the easy choice but not the best choice," said Lynne Vaughan, senior vice president of the YMCA.

 

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