Australia – The Lazy Country?

I’ll get back to the Norwegian adventures shortly, but first, here’s a post I forgot to publish.

I like to keep in touch with current events in the home country and two items have struck a chord recently. I think there might be a link.

The first issue is that Aussie kids are getting fatter. Obesity rates of the deep fried chips off the block are ballooning – pun intended. One in four of them are overweight or obese these days. One in four. I might be romanticising a little, but I seem to remember an active sunshine-filled childhood where we swam all day and played out until the streetlights came on – that was a common rule on my street. Point is, we were active. I could understand it in a country like Britain where we get half an hour of decent weather a year and it’s usually on a weekday. In fact, there is usually only a period of 2.5 months where temperatures in the UK are vaguely higher than they are in Oz. It’s June and we’re still not at that point yet, just so you know. The British weather is positively discouraging to an active lifestyle, so I feel for kids here. And yet Aussie kids are stacking the spare tyres faster than a Kwik-Fit on a Saturday.

The second issue that has piqued my interest is that back in Oz, parents are up in arms about their little darlings no longer getting a free bus pass to school unless they have to walk greater than 2.3km (primary kids) or 2.9km (secondary kids) [source] to get there.

It got me thinking how that compares to British kids – given I see plenty of them moodily traipsing to the local school, heads slung low staring at their iPhones. And I was a little surprised at what I found. Here in Cheshire, primary school kids have to walk 3.2km and secondary kids 5km before a free bus is laid on. [source]. 5KM. I’ve never been on mumsnet, but I don’t hear any outrage about this imposition in the press.

I’m not saying this is the only factor in why Aussie kids are fat by any stretch. But I think it’s time they harden up a little, get their sneakers on and make their own way to school. Leave the whinging to the British, please.

3 thoughts on “Australia – The Lazy Country?”

  1. And even if they qualify for a bus pass, or if they don’t, many of the little darlings get driven to school. You should see how the traffic drops during school hols. And don’t think they’re walking to sport on the weekend, or riding their bikes or using the skateboard. No, mum and dad are chauffeuring them. Traffic in Sydney on a Saturday morning is just as bad as weekdays now.

    I was considered a bad mum as I made my kids walk to and from soccer training. It’s only a 15 min walk, for god’s sake!

    1. A girl after my own heart. I too, was made to walk to school. And my family owned the local bus company.

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