Saturday, June 28, 2008

Introducing exercise early 'is vital' in tackling obesity (?)

Some "vital" advice for mothers below. It sounds reasonable -- until you read the article following it. Evidence seems to come last in most health advice. The writers JUST KNOW what is right

Something as simple as holding a baby in water at the swimming pool could reduce the risk of obesity, it has been claimed. The Sun has recommended a number of tips to help parents keep their children fit and healthy.

Mother-and-toddler groups or baby classes at local leisure centres are great ways of introducing little ones to activities at an early age, it advised, as they can experience things such as yoga and dance.

Teaching toddlers to walk as much as possible and taking them to play outside is also a great way to involve exercise in their routine, it continued.

Fitness expert Nicki Waterman said: "Healthy children should be introduced to exercise as early as possible. Whether it's swimming, football or dancing, find something they enjoy and encourage them by joining in too."

According to a government report, the number of under-20 year olds who are obese could ride from ten per cent to 15 per cent by 2025.


Gym class does little to lower childhood obesity

May I mention that weight-proneness is 77% genetic?

Pumping up the frequency of phys-ed classes doesn't make a difference to childhood obesity, a B.C. study has found. The research, presented to 700 delegates attending the Canadian Paediatric Society conference here, is apt to deflate the hopes of those pleading for more school-based phys-ed classes as a possible panacea against fatness.

Dr. Kevin Harris, a pediatric resident at B.C. Children's Hospital, helped conduct an analysis of studies on school phys-ed policies to determine if they change Body Mass Index, the common measurement used to assess fat and weight.

While such policies may be "theoretically appealing" and many jurisdictions are either considering or enacting changes to increase physical activity inside and outside school, the analysis shows BMI doesn't change as a result.

Harris said researchers looked at 13 trials of six months to three years duration in which pre- and post-BMI measurements were taken. In studies involving nearly 10,000 children, primarily in elementary schools, none demonstrated a reduction in BMI with those who were assigned to the most phys-ed time, compared to those who didn't have as much.

"School-based physical activity interventions do not improve BMI although they may have other beneficial health effects," he said. "There are improvements to bone mineral density, aerobic capacity, reduced blood pressure and increased flexibility," he added. Childhood overweight and obesity rates have quadrupled in the past 40 years and now stand at about 30 per cent.

Harris said experts have predicted that because of this, the current generation of children may be the first to have a reduced life expectancy because of the conditions associated with obesity such as diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

Harris said policy-makers must realize that all the causes of childhood obesity are still not known so merely focusing on in-school phys-ed programs is not enough to reverse obesity trends.



John A said...

"Childhood overweight and obesity rates have quadrupled in the past 40 years and now stand at about 30 per cent."

Oh? Almost one in three is a fattie?

Anonymous said...

yes, but mostly because the definition of "fattie" has been changed when the BMI indices were changed to classify people as "overweight" and "obese" at much lower weights.

In my experience the only thing more PE classes achieve is even more bullying of kids who are better at and more interested in academic pursuits than becoming sports heroes.
That in turn will lead to more clinical depression, school shootings (or other violent behaviour by students), etc. etc.

It would be far better if kids were kept off the Ritalin and meth, the endless stream of ADHD diagnoses for kids who are more active than couch potatoes stopped.