PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 2, 2003 (UPI) -- With the nation facing an obesity crisis,
health experts are now reportedly accusing the baby stroller industry of
contributing to pediatric obesity.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports what is upsetting some health care and
physical education experts is the trend of using strollers well beyond the
toddler years instead of getting children into the habit of walking.
The Inquirer noted once the province of babies,
buggies are becoming conveyances for older children.
Strollers traditionally were used for children from infancy to about 36 months
of age. But today, many strollers are designed to carry children through age 4
and even beyond, while increasing weight limits to as much as 50 pounds.
Jane Clark, chairwoman of kinesiology at the University of Maryland, told the
Inquirer: "All you have to do is walk around a fair or mall, and you see older
and older children in strollers. ... If we overuse (strollers), children are not
going to be as physically active."
Clark said she views strollers for heftier loads as part of a larger phenomenon
of "containerizing" children: "I think we're overly protective. We've taken a
lot of physical play away because we think it's unsafe."