Yomiuri: Alarming trend in Fukushima children — Parent’s radiation fears and stress from disaster blamed for spike in obesity rates

Published: December 26th, 2012 at 3:12 pm ET
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Title: Obesity rising for Fukushima kids / 5- to 9-year-olds show highest rates of obese children across the nation
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: Dec. 27, 2012

An alarming trend toward obesity has been found among children in Fukushima Prefecture, which has the highest rate of obese children in every age group between 5 and 9 years old, according to the results of a nationwide school health survey released by the education ministry. […]

The age group containing 8-year-old girls in the prefecture also showed the highest obesity rates, standing at 14.61 percent–nearly double the 8.1 percent recorded in 2010, or 17th in the rankings. […]

Regarding the spike in obesity in the 5- to 9-year-old group, an official of the education board said: “Parents, particularly those who have small children, were very concerned about possible radiation effects. They may have also restricted their children from playing outside at home.” […]

More from Yomiuri: Kanebusa Primary School in Minami-Soma [15 miles north of Fukushima Daiichi] in the prefecture, which resumed classes at a temporary school building in the city, lifted the restriction this spring. Principal Shoichi Yamanobe said, “We were concerned the children might lose their stamina, agility and sense of balance [because they couldn’t spend much time outside].” But now, he says, children are free to play outdoors and have been steadily regaining their strength.

Published: December 26th, 2012 at 3:12 pm ET
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