Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Children Still Not Getting Enough Physical Activity

“According to a new report published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, there needs to be a revision in the UK and the US of the recommended amount of physical activity children need to prevent obesity. Currently, only 42% of boys and about 11% of girls are achieving the weekly recommended levels. Researcher Brad S. Metcalf (Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Peninsula Medical School, Plymouth, UK) and colleagues draw their conclusions from monitoring, beginning at age 5, 113 boys and 99 girls who attended 54 different schools. The samples come from a larger project that tracks 307 children born between 1995 and 1996 called the EarlyBird study. In order to prevent obesity and associated health problems, the guidelines in both the UK and US suggest that moderate physical activity for at least an hour every day is ideal for children. The analysis conducted by Metcalf and colleagues indicated a wide range of physical activity actually measured - from 10 minutes per day to 90 minutes per day. About 11% of girls and 42% of boys completed the recommended activity levels. However, there was no significant difference in change in BMI between those who did and those who did not meet the guidelines. Among boys and girls who did the recommended level of physical activity, there were noticeable improvements in their predictive health indicators. However, in the less active children, there were noticeable deteriorations in these indicators.”


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