Childhood Obesity & Physical Activity

Child obesity and decreased physical activity

childhood obesity physical activityBecause the factors that contribute to childhood obesity interact with each other, it is not possible to specify one behavior as the causes of childhood obesity. However, certain behaviors can be identified as potentially contributing to an energy imbalance and, therefore, influencing obesity in children. In simple terms, the major factor contributing to obesity in children (and adults) is simply the fact that we are less active than ever before.

Children with Sedentary behavior are more likely to gain weight because they don't burn calories through physical activity. Inactive leisure activities, such as watching television (see television childhood obesity) or playing video games, contribute to the problem. Physical activity is important for children and teens as it have beneficial effects (see health benefits of physical activity) not only on body weight, but also on blood pressure and bone strength. Physically active 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 relationship in low levels of physical activity have been recognized and comprise children who are from ethnic minorities (specially girls) in the preadolescent and 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%).

Evaluating 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 physical activity guidelines in our Childhood Obesity Physical Activity section.

PREVIOUS:Genetic Causes Of Childhood Obesity |             | NEXT:Childhood Obesity Exercise


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.
childhood obesity exerciseChildhood Obesity & Exercise
Lack of exercise has been the main factor of childhood obesity causes.Children like to play video games, computer game, surfing internet, chatting, and any game that don’t need much physical exercise instead playing outdoor sports.

No comments: