Help parents become good examples of healthy living

As a parent of two young children, I am glad that healthy lifestyle measures are being built into the regulation of pre-schools (Improving kids' health: More exercise, better diet; Feb 24).

It is crucial to establish good habits in children's formative years to prevent future diseases.

I am also pleased that measures to educate children on good sleep habits, and support structures for mental health issues, are in the pipeline.

Parental involvement is equally crucial for the success of these measures, as children emulate their parents' lifestyle more than they listen to the words of authority figures.

I hope NurtureSG recognises that it is not easy for parents to switch to a healthy lifestyle after decades of habits in a chronically stressful society where the cost of living is high and time is at a premium.

Many parents choose to do their work and personal chores after they have put their children to bed, which is often very late at night.

It is not easy for parents to switch to a healthy lifestyle after decades of habits in a chronically stressful society where the cost of living is high and time is at a premium.

They also have to be up early in the morning to prepare the children for school.

While there are no easy solutions here, measures to reduce the economic and logistical stresses of parents should be considered too, so parents can have the energy and resources to make healthy lifestyle choices for their families.

This would greatly augment the efforts to get our children to develop a healthy lifestyle.

Teoh Ren Shang (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Help parents become good examples of healthy living'. Print Edition | Subscribe