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Parents fibbing to health surveys?

By johnboy - 11 November 2013 62

donut

The Health Directorate has unveiled “Health status of children in the Australian Capital Territory Results from the 2007–10 ACT General Health Survey”.

Perusing the summary I was astonished to learn that 97% of houses are smoke free!

But then I came to the number that 49% of children do not eat fried potato products once a week!

Followed by a similar number who consume no sugary drinks at all!

So dear readers I ask you, do you think those responding were telling stories?

Or are the parents of the ACT really so virtuous?

[Photo by tommy.chheng CC BY 2.0]

What’s Your opinion?


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62 Responses to
Parents fibbing to health surveys?
RedDogInCan 9:22 pm 11 Nov 13

49% of children do not eat fried potato products once a week

It was actually hot fried potato products and the question mentioned hot chips, french fries, wedges or fried potatoes. Crisps would have been excluded.

More telling is the 89.3% of parents who reported their children’s health as good to excellent even though nearly 23% of children are overweight or obese, 77% did less than one hour of physical activity per day, and 46% used electronic media for more than 2 hours per day. Also from the report:

The ACTGHS asked parents to report on weights and heights of their
children. It is important to note that self-reporting of these measures can result in underestimates, in
particular, overweight and obesity. Generally, self-reported heights are significantly higher than
measured heights and self-reported weights are significantly lower than measured weights.

So yes, our kids are shorter, chubbier, and less healthy than parents pretend they are.

Masquara 9:15 pm 11 Nov 13

Perhaps supermarket sales statistics can be matched up with people’s claims about their “milk & water only” kids …

Masquara 9:11 pm 11 Nov 13

Fruit juice is of course a sugary drink …

Madam Cholet 8:11 pm 11 Nov 13

astrojax said :

Pitchka said :

dtc said :

My kids live in a smoke free house, do not eat chips (cooked or dried) once a week and dont drink any softdrinks or cordial. Very few of their friends regularly drink softdrinks or eat chips and I dont know any smokers with kids

But the kids are in primary school and under my control, more or less. I’m sure high school is different.

Are you posting form Nth Korea or China?

north canberra prob’ly – mine are likewise. admittedly, one 18mths and one 4yrs, both eat healthily (oldest one’s favourite fruit is tomato, though apples compete) and he’ll generally go the fruit platter at parties before the sweets. any juice is well watered down, and anyway infrequent. and this seems pretty usuall for his cohort, from my experience.

but i’m not expecting this to continue into his teens… will do my best, of course, but peer pressure will no doubt play a role.

What is it with putting 10 tonnes of crap on the table at kids parties? And then sending them home with a bag of junk? I once turned up with then 3 year old to a party at 10am on a Sunday. On the table at that stage amongst other things was caramel slice, choc balls, cheezels…..and one tiny bowl of dried apple. I can tell you what the kids were eating, and it was not the apple!

I don’t believe this survey for a second.

maxblues 7:33 pm 11 Nov 13

Have you seen the business Sugar Station in Belconnen Mall?…I’m surprised the ACT Government hasn’t forced them to change their business name to Diabetes Depot.

Growling Ferret 6:43 pm 11 Nov 13

Two kids 6 and under.
Smoke free house.
Kids don’t drink anything other than water, milk and V8 juice.
They might get Macca’s once a month when we are on the road. Otherwise no fried food.

milkman 6:05 pm 11 Nov 13

Little kids shouldn’t be eating any of that crap, but as they get older having a few treats isn’t a problem. Lots of outside time helping in the garden and vigorous activity is important, I think.

RadioVK 5:58 pm 11 Nov 13

It depends what they call a “smoke free” house. No smoking at all, or no smoking inside the house?

If it’s no smoking inside, the figures may not be as unrealistic as you might think, although I’m sure some pretty liberal interpretations of smoke free have been applied by some of the respondents.

HiddenDragon said :

Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Spot on, I think.

c_c™ 5:43 pm 11 Nov 13

97% is plausible enough, I don’t know of many smokers who actually like their possession stinking of cigarette smoke anyway. Perhaps a better question is how many of them walk along with a young child in a pram, chugging on a cigarette and puffing clouds thinking that’s it’s magically outside and therefore ok?

Fried potato question is a bit loaded, I mean there’s no way mashed potato is any better for you, packed with carbs and processes in a way that increases the GI load.

muscledude_oz 4:46 pm 11 Nov 13

Actually it is not that difficult to believe. Canberra has the highest gym membership in Australia and is the home of the Institute of Sport. There has been a strict “no junk food” policy in school canteens for a while and smoking is lower in Canberra than most other places.

If this survey had been conducted in Bogan Central (the western suburbs of Sydney) the results would have been totally different.

sepi 4:20 pm 11 Nov 13

Mine are the same – smoke free, juice free and rarely have chips. If you start them off like that they just don’t ask for junk. Juice is frowned on now, and not allowed at school etc. Times have changed.

Last time i did one of these surveys I was really annoyed that giving the kids a milk arrowroot biscuit once a day to shut them up in the car qualified us as ‘regularly eating sweet treats’ the same as if we lived on ice cream and lollies.

astrojax 3:49 pm 11 Nov 13

Pitchka said :

dtc said :

My kids live in a smoke free house, do not eat chips (cooked or dried) once a week and dont drink any softdrinks or cordial. Very few of their friends regularly drink softdrinks or eat chips and I dont know any smokers with kids

But the kids are in primary school and under my control, more or less. I’m sure high school is different.

Are you posting form Nth Korea or China?

north canberra prob’ly – mine are likewise. admittedly, one 18mths and one 4yrs, both eat healthily (oldest one’s favourite fruit is tomato, though apples compete) and he’ll generally go the fruit platter at parties before the sweets. any juice is well watered down, and anyway infrequent. and this seems pretty usuall for his cohort, from my experience.

but i’m not expecting this to continue into his teens… will do my best, of course, but peer pressure will no doubt play a role.

Pitchka 3:25 pm 11 Nov 13

dtc said :

My kids live in a smoke free house, do not eat chips (cooked or dried) once a week and dont drink any softdrinks or cordial. Very few of their friends regularly drink softdrinks or eat chips and I dont know any smokers with kids

But the kids are in primary school and under my control, more or less. I’m sure high school is different.

Are you posting form Nth Korea or China?

dtc 3:23 pm 11 Nov 13

My kids live in a smoke free house, do not eat chips (cooked or dried) once a week and dont drink any softdrinks or cordial. Very few of their friends regularly drink softdrinks or eat chips and I dont know any smokers with kids

But the kids are in primary school and under my control, more or less. I’m sure high school is different.

Also, considerable chocolate and ice cream is regularly consumed by all household members.

HiddenDragon 2:59 pm 11 Nov 13

Lies, damned lies and statistics. Sounds like a wonderful starting point for “evidence-based” policy development.

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