Childhood Obesity & Exercise

Low energy expenditure through exercise

childhood obesity exerciseThere's an epidemic of obesity in children. More than 15% of children are overweight, and the incidence has doubled in the last 30 years. Insufficient expenditure of energy through regular exercise is a factor that has contributed to this being one of the causes of childhood obesity (see childhood obesity causes). Children who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing video games instead of doing an exercise or a sport they like have a bigger risk of child obesity. Kids usually munch on fast foods (see childhood obesity fast food) while watching TV (see television childhood obesity) only adds to the problem. Not exercising is becoming more common in children of these days. They don’t play with a ball or something that requires physical exercise.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Kids who watch the most hours of television have the greater risk of childhood obesity.

Before, children like to play outdoor sports regularly, like activities as forms of entertainment and walk to school. But, the sports our children like to do these days include video games, playing computer game, surfing internet, chatting, and any game that don’t need much physical exercise. When you combine the poor choices in food and the lack of exercising, there is a high chance that childhood obesity will end up lead to disease.If your child is not occupied in organized sports or after-school playtime that engages cardiovascular exercise, you may want to add fitness to your family habit. The ratio of calories taken in to calories expended as energy (see energy imbalance) needs to be favorable to counter any genetic tendencies towards childhood obesity. Encouraging girls to exercise is a big challenge, as they may be less prone to engage in physical play. Exercising children are also more likely to remain physically active throughout adolescence minimizing the risk of child obesity and possibly into adulthood.

The popularity of media (see media and childhood obesity), computers, and video games transform into an ever more sedentary (inactive) lifestyle for many children in America.
Children in America expend an estimate of over three hrs per day watching television. Television not only encourages physical inactivity but, it also encourages more food (see childhood obesity & food) intake which are high in calorie.
The foods most heavily advertised (see childhood obesity advertising) on media are high in calories: candy bars, sugared cereals, etc.
Parents' busy schedules and fears about safety prevent many children from taking part in after-school sports programs.
Only about one third of children in the United States have daily physical education at school. Daily participation in school physical education among adolescents dropped 14 percentage points over the last 13 years — from 42% in 1991 to 28% in 2003. Currently, only 8 percent of elementary schools and less than 7 percent of middle schools and high schools have daily physical education requirements in the U.S.
In schools, physical activity classes have been partially or completely cut to save money and to satisfy federal wishes to focus on mathematics and English literacy.
Less than half of children in U.S have parents who take regular physical exercise (see childhood obesity & exercise).
Studies have shown that less than 40% of children participate in any type of organized activity session outside of school hours, and 23% participate in absolutely no physical activity at all.
Studies in the last 20 to 30 years show a strong connection between childhood obesity & physical activity. Nearly half of youths aged 12 to 21 years old are not vigorously active on a regular basis (20 minutes, three times a week).In addition, fewer than one-third (28%) of high school students meet currently recommended levels of physical activity.
Professionals agree that physical inactivity influences childhood obesity.While national guidelines recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week for elementary children and 225 minutes for older children, In the U.S., Illinois is the only state that actually requires daily physical education classes for all class levels.

child obesity

Children and obesity having low levels of exercise levels have been recognized and comprise children who are from ethnic minorities (specially girls) in the preadolescent/adolescent age groups, disable children, children living in poverty, children living in neighborhoods where outdoor physical activity is limited by safety concerns, climate, or lack of facilities and children residing in apartments or public housing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention((,

Physical inactivity is twice as common among females (14%) as males (7%) and among black females (21%) as white females (12%).

obesity in childrenEvaluating physical activity and cardio respiratory fitness, 6 to 7 year olds were more active in modest to strong physical activity (46 minutes/day) contrast with 10 to 16 year olds (16–45 minutes/day).

Boys were about 20% more active than girls, and mean activity levels decreased with age by 2.7% per year in boys compared with 7.4% per year in girls.

There are many reasons for the decreased physical activity among children and youth. These include inactive role models by parents (see childhood obesity & parents) and other caregivers, competing demands/time pressures, unsafe environments, lack of recreation facilities or insufficient funds to begin recreation programs, and insufficient access to quality daily physical education in schools (see childhood obesity in schools).

Inactive children are likely to become obese as adults. Inactive adults have twice the mortality of adults who are at least somewhat active (Blair & Connelly, 1996). Schools that encourage physical activity may have a significant impact on reducing childhood obesity, chronic disease, (see childhood obesity effects) and ultimately, adult mortality. Insofar as physical activity has been associated with increased academic performance, self-concept, mood, and mental health, the promotion of physical activity and exercise also improves quality of life.

childhood obesity preventionTips for parents

What can you do as a parent in childhood obesity prevention? We have some exercise guidelines in our Childhood Obesity Exercise section.

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childhood obesity physical activityChildhood Obesity & Physical Activity
The main reasons for decreased physical activity among children and youth nclude inactive role models by parents (see childhood obesity & parents) and other caregivers and insufficient access to quality daily physical education in schools (see childhood obesity in schools).
health benefits of physical activityHealth Benefits Of Physical Activity
Increased life expectancy and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease is associated with an increased physical activity. The value of regular physical activity has important benefits in child obesity prevention.

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