Friday, November 19, 2010

Seventy-Five Minutes of Activity Per Week to Fight Childhood Obesity

Seventy-five minutes per week of physical activity could be an important weapon in the childhood obesity war. A recent study suggests that this amount of activity could improve the health of children by slowing the children's BMI increase.

The study, reported in Pub Med in 2009, was entitled, "Physical Activity Across the Curriculum (PAAC): A Randomized Controlled Trial to Promote Physical Activity and Diminish Overweight and Obesity in Elementary School Children." The study concludes that Seventy-five minutes per week of physical activity for children in elementary school could lessen the increase in child BMI.

Twenty-four elementary schools participated in the three-year study. In the study, second and third grade elementary school children were tracked for the three-year study period. And according to the researchers, the children's rising BMI slowed, while their academic performance also improved.

With emphasis on higher test scores, many school districts have reduced or eliminated the amount of physical activity their students receive in school. So allocating seventy-five minutes per week for physical activity could be a hard sell to school administrators. However, since the physical activity could improve academic performance, as well as health, getting the administrators to consider the activity might be less daunting.

Of course, more needs to be learned about the best ways to establish the seventy-five minutes per week activity program. However, if the program proves to be beneficial to children in the elementary school setting, more schools will likely institute the program.

Medical weight loss practitioners might consider becoming advocates for the program's institution in elementary schools. Supporting the program would allow the practitioners to help the community.

Medical weight loss practitioners would let the community know that weight loss professionals are intent on ending one of today's most vexing problems -- childhood obesity. At any rate, seventy-five minutes of physical activity per week could be a blow to childhood obesity.

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