Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time

Date:
May 20, 2013
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Little is known about the effect of physical education on child weight, but a new study finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability of obesity.

Little is known about the effect of physical education (PE) on child weight, but a new study from Cornell University finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability of obesity.

The study represents some of the first evidence of a causal effect of PE on youth obesity, and is forthcoming in the Journal of Health Economics.

The research offers support for the recommendations of organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all of which have advocated increasing the amount of time that elementary school children spend in gym class, says lead researcher and Cornell professor of policy analysis and management, John Cawley, who conducted the study with Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University (Cornell Ph.D. 2002) and David Frisvold of Emory University.

Treating variation in the amount of time that states mandate schoolchildren spend in PE as natural experiments, the researchers found that an additional 60 minutes per week of PE time (enough to bring states without an explicit requirement up to the amount of PE recommended by the CDC) reduces the probability that a fifth-grader is obese by 4.8 percentage points.

The researchers also detected a gender difference: additional PE time reduces weight for boys but has a negligible effect for girls. One explanation for this difference, says Cawley, is that PE and other types of physical activity are complements for boys (increased PE leads boys to be more active in structured physical activities like organized sports), but substitutes for girls (increased PE leads girls to spend more time watching television).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John Cawley, David Frisvold, Chad Meyerhoefer. The Impact of Physical Education on Obesity among Elementary School Children. Journal of Health Economics, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.04.006

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520163611.htm>.
Cornell University. (2013, May 20). Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520163611.htm
Cornell University. "Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520163611.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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