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2 August 2010
THE sun was barely up, and neither was little Andy, who was seen nodding off to sleep as his mother pulled up alongside the school gate.
Still groggy, Andy was reluctant to leave the comfort of his car, but a few words from his mother, who had to open his door, achieved the effect no alarm clock could.
“Wake up, mommy has to rush for an important meeting,” she said, as her seven-year-old son sluggishly got out. “Carry your own bag today. I’m in a hurry.”
Andy was suddenly wide awake, and his muted protests concerning the heavy load were to no avail as his mother helped him put on his backpack before speeding off.
Muttering, Andy trudged away, slouching and struggling with his heavy backpack. Andy’s morning may have been spoilt, but in truth, he was one of the lucky ones as most children carry their own bags on a daily basis.
The issue of heavy school bags is a perennial problem, and many parents are less than impressed. A number have expressed their discontent by writing to StarEducation, and those quizzed outside the school gates were equally vocal.
Mikkel Ø. Andersen, M.D., of Sygehus Lillebaelt in Denmark, and colleagues studied questionnaires completed by 34,944 twins representing 23,204 pairs born between 1931 and 1982 to examine the effect that AIS had on health-related quality of life in this population.