Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise Helps Overweight Children Reduce Anger Expression

Date:
December 3, 2008
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Regular exercise seems to reduce anger expression in overweight but otherwise healthy children, researchers say. Aerobic exercise may be an effective strategy to help overweight kids reduce anger expression and aggressive behavior.

Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist in the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine.
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical College of Georgia

Regular exercise seems to reduce anger expression in overweight but otherwise healthy children, researchers said.

Related Articles


The first published study on the topic looked at 208 typically sedentary 7- to 11-year-olds who participated in a 10-15 week afterschool aerobic exercise program or maintained their usual inactive routine. The Pediatric Anger Expression Scale, used to gauge common anger expressions such as slamming doors and hitting, was given before and after the program.

"Exercise had a significant impact on anger expression in children," said Dr. Catherine Davis, clinical health psychologist in the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. "This finding indicates that aerobic exercise may be an effective strategy to help overweight kids reduce anger expression and aggressive behavior."

The finding fits with evidence that exercise reduces depression and anxiety in children and with what's considered common knowledge that exercise helps adults manage anger, she said.

It also gives parents and other caregivers another reason to get and keep children moving. "I think it's reasonable to encourage children to exercise for a lot of good reasons," said Dr. Davis whose research on overweight children has shown regular physical activity not only reduces fatness but improves cognition and reduces insulin resistance – which can lead to diabetes.

"I think if teachers could see that exercise helps kids control their behavior and get along, they would be the top proponents of physical activity for kids," said Dr. Davis, noting that other studies suggests overweight children are more likely to be bullies and to be bullied. High levels of anger and hostility have been associated with delinquency in children, cardiovascular disease in adults and metabolic syndrome - which can lead to heart attack, stroke and diabetes - in adolescents.

The new finding, published in the November issue of Pediatric Exercise Science, appears to apply to overweight children generally, regardless of factors such as race, gender, socioeconomic status or even fitness or fatness levels, the researchers wrote. In fact, even though all participants in the exercise portion lost a significant amount of weight, they remained overweight at the study's conclusion.

With help from a five-year $3.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Dr. Davis already is looking to see if the finding holds in a similar group of children, who are part of a study on the impact of exercise on cognition. The goal is to determine if it was the exercise or participation in an after-school program that made the difference.

Extra attention from adults and time away from usual routines that could include disagreements with siblings and watching violence on television definitely could have a psychological impact. "With a psychological outcome like cognition or anger control, positive interaction with adults can make a big difference," Dr. Davis said.

In the published study, only the exercising children came to MCG's Georgia Prevention Institute after school. In the new study, both groups are coming to the institute, with non-exercisers enjoying arts, crafts and games. "We are trying to make it so the only difference is exercise," said Dr. Davis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Exercise Helps Overweight Children Reduce Anger Expression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130951.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2008, December 3). Exercise Helps Overweight Children Reduce Anger Expression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130951.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Exercise Helps Overweight Children Reduce Anger Expression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124130951.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Calif. Health Officials Campaign Against E-Cigarettes

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The California Health Department says e-cigarettes are a public health risk for both smokers and those who inhale e-cig smoke secondhand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins