Homework makes children fat

( ) Updated: 2014-06-03 14:47:08

Children are overweight because of homework and parents should ban it from their homes, according to a controversial child care expert.

Australian author Sharny Kieser urges parents to encourage their children to engage more in outside activities.

"There is no time to waste with new reports showing that the physical activity levels of Australian children are among the worst in the world. Instead of slaving over a computer or books in the few hours of daylight after school, our kids need to be out getting some exercise. Banning homework will produce healthier kids," she told the Courier Mail.

The warning is included in her new book Fit, Healthy, Happy Kids. It is the ninth book from the mother of four.

"Kids already spend six hours a day exercising their minds. More active kids are more intelligent kids. The body carries the mind," she said.

Christian Rowan Queensland, president of the Australian Medical Association, said television and computer use was a major factor in childhood obesity and inactivity.

"Reducing rates of childhood obesity requires a multifaceted approach that educates and encourages children to be more active and eat healthier. Low rates of physical activity are more likely attributed to our increased use of technology for entertainment than they are to homework. Parents should consider limiting screen time and encouraging their children to be more active," he said.

A Department of Education, Training and Employment spokesperson said schools develop homework policy in consultation with the school community and parents.

"Teachers are best placed to decide the extent and type of homework that suits the individual learning needs of their students. If parents have any concerns with regard to their school 's homework policy, they are encouraged to contact the principal to discuss these concerns," he said.

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