The numbers of overweight and obese children and adolescents are rising. Some are talking about the next big health crisis. But how can the youngest be helped? There are various possibilities at the municipal level.
"Obesity in adolescence is also a health problem because it increases the risk of being obese as an adult by a factor of five (Simmonds et al., 2016), " are stating experts in the National Youth Report of 2020. Again and again, it is emphasised that children and adolescents do not exercise enough and eat too much unhealthy food. Some are convinced that (severe) overweight and obesity will be the biggest challenges in the lives of the youngest.
In order to counteract this, the interviewees for this article believe that society has to help the youth and offer them opportunities to lead a healthy lifestyle in the first place. We asked a sports teacher, the Lasep president (Ligue des Associations Sportives de l'Enseignement Fondamental) and a nutritionist for their opinion.
Such opportunities can exist in different areas, including in the municipalities of Luxembourg. Yann Schneider is the deputy director of the Sportlycée (Institut National des Sports, INS). Even though he is not necessarily the first person to talk to when it comes to obesity and overweight, Schneider agrees: "our physiotherapists do motor tests, and they have noticed that the level of motor skills and fitness has dropped in recent years, " he explains in his office in the INS premises. Nonetheless, the institute rarely sees such cases. The school teaches 480 young athletes, one third (out of 1,300) from all over the country.
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