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Fukushima Children Out of Shape

Fukushima Children Out of Shape

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Published by: fromatob3404 on Dec 31, 2012
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12]27]12 ÌnactIvIty amId nucIear crIsIs IeavIng FukushIma chIIdren out oI shape { The ]apan TImes OnIIne

1]2 www.japantImes.co.jp]prInt]nn20121226a5.htmI


The Japan Times Printer Friendly Articles
Inactivity amid nuclear crisis leaving
Fukushima children out of shape
Children in nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture are getting fatter due to lack of
outdoor exercise amid daily radiation exposure limitations, the government said
Tuesday in its school health report.
The preliminary report, released by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science
and Technology, showed an increase in children from kindergarten to high school age
who weighed 20 percent more than the standard according to their height.
In Fukushima, 449 schools, or 56 percent of public schools, had curtailed outdoor
activities during school time as of June last year to minimize exposure to radiation
released from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant. Such restrictions were still
in place at 71 elementary and junior high schools this September, according to the
prefectural board of education. It is believed schools based the amount of time they
allowed kids to spend outdoors on local atmospheric radioactive fallout readings.
The obesity trend was noticeable among early elementary school students, with the
rate among first-graders standing at 9.7 percent, up 4.7 percentage points from the
previous survey in fiscal 2010 through March 2011, which was when the fallout crisis
started. The rate for third-graders came to 13.5 percent, up 5.1 points.
As for ninth-graders, the rate was 11.5 percent, up 0.6 point, while that for high school
seniors stood at 14.1 percent, up 1.4 points, according to the latest survey, which is
based on health checkups conducted between April and June.

12]27]12 ÌnactIvIty amId nucIear crIsIs IeavIng FukushIma chIIdren out oI shape { The ]apan TImes OnIIne
2]2 www.japantImes.co.jp]prInt]nn20121226a5.htmI
The board of education received reports on the increase in overweight students even
though schools have adopted various measures to complement the lack of outdoor
exercise, including pushing kids to use stairways and halls to increase walking, an
official said.
Children in northern regions that experience more severe winters are prone to gain
weight because they are inclined to curb outdoor activities when it's cold. But a
ministry official noted the obesity trend seen in children in Fukushima should not be
attributed only to the usual cold winters, and the report meanwhile did not indicate if
its findings were linked to seasonal factors.
Given the problematic trend, the board of education may dispatch sports trainers to
schools and encourage students to engage in community sports activities, an official
The Japan Times: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012
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