Posts Tagged ‘ sedentary ’

Study: Kids Gain More Weight in Summertime

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Despite the idea that kids would be playing and moving around outside during the summer months, new research from Harvard University shows that summertime is actually when kids are most at risk of packing on pounds.  Part of the reason may be school-led efforts to offer healthier lunches and ban sugary drinks, but also at fault could be sedentary summer habits, less structure, and more (and less healthy) snacks.  More from Today.com:

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at data from seven studies that included more than 10,000 kids ages 5 to 12 in the United States, Canada and Japan. In all but one of the studies published between 2005 and 2013, the findings suggested that weight gain accelerated among kids during the summer — mostly for black and Hispanic youngsters and children and teens who were already overweight.

“It’s especially those kids who are already at risk who are the most at risk during the summer,” said Rebecca Franckle, a Harvard doctoral student who led the study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

In one study of more than 5,300 kindergarten and first-graders in 310 U.S. schools, researchers found that the kids’ body mass index growth, one measure of excess weight, was more than twice as fast during summer vacation as during the school year.

“Although schools may not provide ideal environments for healthy BMI growth, it appears that they are healthier than most children’s non-school environment,” researchers concluded in the 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

About a third of children and teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, according to federal health estimates. Piling on extra weight at a young age can lead to serious health problems later in life.

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image: Ice cream cone, via Shutterstock

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Parents Get Failing Grade for Low Level of U.S. Kids’ Fitness

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Frequent Internet use, stressed-out parents who don’t have time to play outside, and too much time spent riding in cars are all cited by a non-profit organization’s Physical Activity for Children and Youth report card as contributing factors to poor physical activity and fitness levels among American kids.  Reuters has more:

Only one quarter of children aged 6 to 15 meet the current guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate physical activity per day, said Dr. Russell R. Pate, chairman of the non-profit National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP) Alliance, which issued the first U.S. report card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth.

“Fifty percent of waking hours are spent in sedentary activity,” said Pate, professor in the Department of Exercise Science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Fitness experts say it is up to parents and policy makers to get their children to be more active.

“It’s not about grading the kids,” said Dr. Peter Katzmarzyk, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and chairman of the research committee that issued the report card.

“Kids want to be active, if they’re given the opportunity.” he said. “This is for us to change.”

Image: Kids playing outside, via Shutterstock

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