Physical Activity Drives a Child's Weight

Physical Activity Drives a Child’s Weight

Kids being active curbs obesity. Creative Commons image by Kelsey E.

Kids being active curbs obesity. Creative Commons image by Kelsey E.









No matter where in the world a child resides, if they are not getting enough physical activity, they could have difficulty with their weight.

As it is for an adult, an optimal diet is key to good health, with plenty of nutritious items including fresh fruits and vegetables. However, if physical activity is lacking for children, that could be a strong indicator that they may have weight issues down the line and be either overweight or obese.

If a child is physically fit, they tend to develop muscle rather than fat. Fat does not burn as many calories as lean muscle does. So it can be important for a child to develop lean muscle rather than fat, because the muscle will make their metabolism higher. If a child does have leaner muscle mass then they will have the opportunity to also burn more calories while they are resting than a child who does not have lean muscle mass.

The goal is for kids to have an average of 60 minutes of activity daily. What could that entail? That could be something as simple as taking a walk or if 60 minutes can’t be squeezed in at once, having activity broken up into segments throughout the day can be helpful. If it’s not an organized sport activity then enjoying some simple activities like tossing a frisbee, roller blading, taking a swim in a local pool and other activities can be a fun way for kids to grab an activity to keep their body fueled.

The study involved 6,000 students from 12 countries between the ages of nine and 11.

Researchers noted that no matter where in the world a child was tested and their socioeconomic rank, the issue always came back to exercise being the most important factor in the equation.

Too much screen time and not enough sleep are some other factors that can influence obesity. And even the most moderate of exercise can help to boost a child’s metabolism rather than nothing at all. Even moderate exercise can help to keep obesity at bay.

To boot, an Australian study showed that physical education teachers tend to be biased against students who are overweight or obese. Those who were surveyed, which included about 240 respondents in the industry showed that teachers don’t expect children who are obese to perform as well as children who are slim.

And, about 30 percent showed their bias though they did not realize they did, indicating as part of their surveyed answer that kids who are obese are dealing with some of the worst difficulties in their childhood and it is one of the worst things that could happen to them, even equating it to death. There were equivalents to underperformance in other areas like kids not fitting in as well social because of their obesity or with proper reasoning skills.

One third of the children in the United States are classified as overweight and obese while 23 percent are in Australia.

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