is well known that childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades with
the increasing number of obese children. This sudden increase is due to the
change in dietary habits and lifestyle behaviors.
especially in children, raises various health concerns. It predisposes them to
several health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, heart diseases, sleep
apnea, bone and joint diseases and psychological problems.
children become obese adults and this puts them at a risk of developing chronic
conditions such as diabetes, CVD, osteoarthritis and even cancer.
The study has revealed that children are not
adequately active and that girls at the age of eight have a tendency to become
more sedentary than boys of the same age.
a study published in PLoS ONE
June 21, more than 508 eight to
ten-year-olds were monitored by the researchers of Newcastle University and
University of Strathclyde. Each child studied wore an advanced pedometer, which
allowed the researchers to monitor them for a range of activities such as
running, skipping and playing games. This greatly helped the investigators to
deduce that the children actually spent very little time being active.
was found that the subjects spent only 4% of their time doing physical
activities of moderate to vigorous intensity. This roughly accounts to about 20
minutes per day while the recommended time is 60 minutes. Girls hardly spend
more than 2.5% of their day, on an average, being active.
It is a known fact that girls at
the secondary school level are much less active when compared to boys of the
same age, but this study has revealed that the sedentary phase in them is
brought on much earlier.
Mark Pearce of Newcastle University who led this study said, "Given the
importance of physical activity in maintaining good health, we know we need to
get our kids to be more active. What we hadn't known until now is how young we
need to be catching them, or the reasons that lay behind their lack of
activity. Already at the age of eight, we are seeing girls being less active
than boys. This is something which we know that gets worse as they approach
their teenage years.
to Pearce most girls see sports as uncool. Therefore, they need to be
encouraged to be active and exercise regularly by providing them with better
opportunities and also by providing them with better female role models.
of older fathers were also found to be less active. Dr Pearce explains,
"We think there may be a variety of explanations for this such as older
fathers reaching more senior posts and having to work longer hours or maybe
seeing themselves in a more traditional role so spend less time in active play
with their children."
John Reilly of the University of Strathclyde, believes that there is an immediate
need for interventions, both at home and at school, which will help primary
school children become more active, physically.
present study also revealed that the progeny of parents, who restricted their
children watching television, were less active. It could be because the
children were kept away from watching people who were very active (like sports
persons), thereby missing a chance to emulate or be motivated by them.
there is a need for both the parents and the school authorities to motivate the
children to be more active, and come up with better measures to manage obesity
that is growing each day all over the world.Reference:
PLoS ONE 2012.