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Overweight kids a cause for concern

China Daily | Updated: 2013-08-20 07:53

Comment on "Students fail army fitness standards" (China Daily, Aug 13)

College students' poor physical fitness, especially being overweight or obese, exposes the failure of the current education system. The examination-oriented education system forces students to sit in front of desks for long hours since a young age. The world of children, in fact, is dominated by homework.

Children spend a good part of the day reading and writing, hardly getting any time to play or spend time outdoors and get some much needed exercise. Some schools have replaced physical education classes by those for Chinese, math, English and other subjects.

In my 11-year-old son's class, about 60 percent of the students including my son wear glasses. Overweight and obese boys and girls can be seen in almost all classes. As a parent, I feel worried about my child's healthy growth, but children's all-round development is being sacrificed on the altar of exams.

To some extent, parents, and even grandparents, are responsible for children's poor health and obesity. In many normal Chinese families, a child is taken care of by four grandparents and two parents, and is thus easily spoiled. Children lack the ability of self-control, and it's the responsibility of parents to help them develop good eating habits and to exercise regularly.

Parents, teachers, education department authorities - in fact, the entire society - are responsible for children's education. So students' poor physical health should prompt us to take immediate steps to ensure that they grow up to be healthy and intelligent adults.

Mary Wong, via e-mail

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(China Daily 08/20/2013 page9)

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