Weatherford Democrat

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February 13, 2013

Study: parents focused on child’s health, weight

Data from 2012 Parker County children’s health study released

(Continued)

In the 2012 survey, 87 percent of parents said their children eat healthy meals regularly, up from 79 percent in 2008. The statistic, Tubb said, may be somewhat skewed as 10 percent of parents surveyed said their children had no veggies or fruit in their meal the previous evening.

Obesity, which is linked to bullying, spending too much time on a computer and having behavioral problems in school, is only one area looked at.

Around five out of six parents said their children get regular dental care, with a sharp increase in having their teeth cleaned leading the charge. Tubb said, unfortunately, the number of parents who think dental care affects general health has gone down.

The mental health portion of the survey has parents noting fewer children reporting being bullied in school, partially because of an increased awareness of the problem in the last few years and more schools willing to address the problem, Tubb said. Parents are also talking more about cyberbullying and instructing children on how to be safer on the Internet.

Childhood safety is something that has seen a decline in two areas over the last four years. More kids are admitting going into foster care from zero percent in 2008 to 3.4 percent in 2012. In 2008, 4 percent of parents admitted Child and Protective Services had been to their homes, in 2012 it was 7.8 percent.

Tubb said the increase could also be due to the question being worded vaguely in 2008.

Coalition members are trying to do something about the obesity problem. The coalition has started the 5-2-1-0 program (five servings of fruits and vegetables, less than two hours of fun computer time a day, one hour of exercise per day and zero sugary drinks with an increased emphasis on water consumption.

Kristi Cross, an outreach coordinator with Green Apple Therapy, says the program tries to be as interactive as possible. A family cooking night is scheduled for Crockett Elementary parents and students Feb. 21 to teach parents and students how to eat healthy as well as ways to eat healthy on any budget.

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