Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel recently gave an interview in which they addressed the issue of childhood obesity in Sweden. This is a particular concern for the royal couple, who are themselves parents to 4 year-old Princess Estelle and 3 month-old Prince Oscar.
According to the statistics, Swedes consume an average of about 15 kilograms of sweets per person annually. This figure is particularly high in young children, and between 20 and 25 percent of 10 year-olds in Sweden are overweight. Obesity in children is also linked to the lack of physical activity and sitting still for too much time. The drastic increase in the number of cases related to childhood obesity could prove to be a health risk for Sweden, which was once one of the healthiest countries on earth.
“I’m concerned about the fact that it does not come naturally to children today to do sports,” Crown Princess Victoria said during the interview. “Some are doing lots of sports, but to one group it doesn’t come naturally to them. They choose to sit indoors and they are not part of the group being active. It’s not natural to them, so I’m thinking maybe thirty years from now when they become parents, maybe it won’t come naturally to them either to teach their children.”
“I think that we have to understand that changing public health trends is not easy,” added Prince Daniel, who is a former personal trainer himself. “I think that all stakeholders have to come together and do what they can and see the potential and see their own responsibility in this matter.”
The Crown Princess also mentioned how she and her family have incorporated a number of positive changes in their lifestyle. “It doesn’t have to take a lot, actually,” she said. “Stand up now and then, take a ten minute walk when you can. It doesn’t have to be you have to run for an hour, because that’s pretty overwhelming, but just be aware of the fact that we’re sitting still for massive amount of hours during the day, and that is in itself troublesome and worrisome.”
“Just as we get negative effects by sitting still, we do get positive effects by being active. And you don’t have to do very much. So that’s a positive thing in the whole story, is that you can do small things and gain quite a lot from doing it.
Crown Princess Victoria is one of sixteen advocates appointed by the United Nations to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. Both she and Prince Daniel actively promote a healthy lifestyle and support the urgent need to prevent a global obesity crisis.