Thursday December 12, 2019

Walking, Cycling Reduce Obesity Risk in Kids: Study

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children

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Walking
Walk your way to good health.

Do your children go to school walking or riding a bicycle? If your anser is in affirmative, then they are less likely to be obese than those who use car or public transport, suggests a new study.

The study’s findings suggested children who actively commuted to school had lower body fat and were less likely to be overweight or obese.

In the study, published in the BMC Public Health journal, the researchers assessed the impact of extra-curricular physical activities — daily commuting to school and participation in sports — on overweight and obesity levels among primary school children.

The researchers observed that physical activity was better predictor of obesity level in children than commonly-used body-mass index (BMI) as it looked at total weight, including “healthy” muscle mass, rather than fat mass alone.

“Both BMI itself and the points at which high BMI is associated with poor health vary with age, sex and ethnicity,” said the study’s first author Lander Bosch, a Ph.D scholar at University of Cambridge.

“While adjustments have been made in recent years to account for these variations, BMI remains a flawed way to measure the health risks associated with obesity,” Bosch said.

CyclingStress, meditation, PTSD
Cycling, walking in nature may also improve your mental health. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers included over 2,000 primary school children.

Likewise, the researchers also used BMI to check obesity risk in children. Surprisingly, children who participated in sports daily appeared more likely to be overweight compared with those who engaged in sports less than once a week.

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“The link between frequent participation in sport and obesity levels has generated inconsistent findings in previous research, but many of these studies were looking at BMI only,” asserted Bosch.

“However, when looking at body fat instead, we showed there was a trend whereby children who were not active were more likely to be overweight or obese. It’s likely that when looking at the BMI, some inactive children aren’t classified as obese due to reduced muscle mass,” he noted.

The researchers maintained that active commuting to school could be “promising” for combating childhood obesity. “It’s something so easy to implement and it makes such a big difference,” said Bosch. (IANS)

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Watching TV Increases Risk of Obesity among Kids: Study

TV watching most strongly linked to obesity in kids

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obesity
Identifying habits linked to overweight and obesity in the early stages of life can help us to define preventive strategies against other conditions. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Among the lifestyle habits that influence the risk of overweight and obesity in children, watching television is the worst, suggests new research.

“Identifying habits linked to overweight and obesity in the early stages of life can help us to define preventive strategies against other conditions, such as cardiovascular and metabolic diseases during adulthood,” said lead author of the study Rowaedh Bawaked, researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Spain.

The researchers analysed five lifestyle habits: physical activity, sleep time, television time, plant-based food consumption and ultra-processed food consumption.

Kids obesity tv
Researchers found that watching tv has serious effects such as obesity. Pixabay

The study, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, was based on data from 1,480 children.

Parents were asked to complete various questionnaires on the children’s lifestyle habits at four years of age.

To calculate the health impact of these habits, the researchers measured the children’s body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and blood pressure at four and seven years of age.

Children who were less active and spent more time in front of the television at four years of age were at greater risk of being affected by overweight, obesity and metabolic syndrome at seven years of age, showed the findings.

The researchers also measured the time spent by the children on other sedentary activities, such as reading, drawing and doing puzzles. However, these activities did not appear to be associated with overweight or obesity.

“When children watch TV, they see a huge number of advertisements for unhealthy food,” said co-leader of the study Dora Romaguera from Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

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Another reason why watching tv leads to obesity is that the commercials of junk food attracts kids. Pixabay

“This may encourage them to consume these products,” Romaguera said.

Ultra-processed foods, such as pastries, sweet beverages and refined-grain products, are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat and low in nutritional value.

The study showed that high intake of these products at four years of age was associated with a higher BMI at seven years of age.

Moreover, television viewing “discourages physical activity and interrupts sleep time”, explained Silvia Fernandez, a post-doctoral researcher at Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

As the researchers noted, adequate sleep time in early childhood is essential for weight control later in childhood.

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The study concluded that adult health depends on the establishment of healthy lifestyle habits during childhood: limited television time, extracurricular physical activity, getting enough hours of sleep, eating lots of vegetables and avoiding ultra-processed foods. (IANS)