A study following the health patterns of Primary school children has found that one in five Irish children are overweight and 7% of those studied were clinically found to be obese.
The study, Growing Up in Ireland focussed on Overweight and Obesity among 9-Year-Olds, began in 2006 and analysed some 9,000 children, 75% of which were found to have had a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
The study also revealed that almost half of parents believed that weight issues had impacted their child's self-esteem and their relationships with friends.
The study has prompted calls from some experts for compulsory 'health homework' to be considered by schools to be included in the Primary curriculum.
Laya Healthcare's 'Super Troopers' programme is one example of how 'health homework' can have a positive impact in children's health and behaviour towards food and exercise.
Super Troopers is a free programme offered to schools and parents.
It includes a participation pack with checklists of fun daily activities to get kids active along with challenges to encourage kids to try new foods.
The activities are engaging and fun, often including the whole family.
The programme, established in 2014, has already accumulated the participation of over 1,300 schools with promising results.
Research carried out in schools has found that 86% of teachers who participated in the programme would recommend it to others while 85% of parents noted increased physical activity at home.
Do you think children should be given 'health homework' from school? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!