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Survey offers gloomy picture of older kids

May 28,2009
The older children get, the less likely they are to buy books, work out and have breakfast, according to a survey by the Health Ministry released last Thursday.

The ministry’s survey of 6,923 households with kids aged between 1 and 18, conducted from September to November 2008, revealed that when children get older they exercise less, skip breakfast more frequently, buy fewer academic books and show poorer academic achievement.

While more than 36.1 percent of the kids aged 6 to 8 surveyed said they exercise on a regular basis, the portion drops to 9 percent among 12 to 18 years old. This is mainly because they spend extra time at hagwon, or private institutes, from age 9, the ministry said.

Children have fewer books to read when they grow older, too. About 74.7 percent of children aged between 6 and 8 said they had over 50 books, excluding text books.

This number drops to 45.5 percent for children aged between 12 and 18.

Most children, however, were taking extracurricular classes at hagwon.

Of children aged 9 and over, 74.3 percent said they take English lessons at hagwon and 73.4 percent said they take math.


[mijukim@joongang.co.kr]



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