Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

If overweight, your child will be less active

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
A new study reports that being overweight makes children less active. The findings underscore that parents of overweight children have an obligation to keep their children active, as physical activity is vital for the general health of all children. The study also shows that slender children do not become overweight due to a lack of activity.

A new study from the University of Copenhagen's OPUS Research Centre reports that being overweight makes children less active. The findings underscore that parents of overweight children have an obligation to keep their children active, as physical activity is vital for the general health of all children. The study also shows that slender children do not become overweight due to a lack of activity.

Over time, children with a higher fat mass reduce their level of physical activity and increasingly pursue sedentary activities such as watching TV or computer gaming.

Conversely, low levels of physical activity or too much time in front of the TV or computer do not cause normal-weighted children to put on weight.

The findings stem from a large study that has just been published in the journal, the International Journey of Obesity.

New knowledge about the linkage between physical activity and overweight children

The study presents an entirely new body of knowledge about the links between physical activity and being overweight because it investigates developments among test participants over time.

In contrast, most other studies have measured activity at a single point in time, making it impossible to establish whether activity levels affect being overweight, or whether being overweight influences the level of activity:

"The defining characteristic of our work is that we have left a period of six months in between our measurements of activity and weight. Thus, we have been able to investigate how an overweight child's level of activity develops over a half-year," says Mads Fiil Hjorth, a researcher of physical activity, sleep and obesity at the University of Copenhagen's OPUS Research Centre.

Mads Fiil Hjorth emphasizes that physical activity is of great value to children. "Even though our study, in part, shows that a lack of physical activity and lots of TV and computer do not cause children to gain weight, physical activity is obviously very good for children's general health and welfare in a number of other ways. We have not focused on these areas in this study. Instead, we have specifically focused on the link between physical activity and fat mass."

Danger not limited to those who are overweight

Associate Professor Anders Sjφdin, head of OPUS' research into children's activity patterns, points out that the problem also extends to a segment of normal-weight children:

"It wasn't only those children who are classically understood as being overweight who demonstrated poor development in activity levels. There were also normal-weight children with slightly larger fat masses," according to Sjφdin. "So, there is no doubt that if someone has a child with a bit too much to pinch around the midsection, parents need to stay attuned to the child's level of activity."

The Method

The study included 600 third and fourth grade children who were equipped with an activity tracker on two occasions, for seven days at a time. The activity tracker was worn at the start of the project and again after six months. The tracker was able to register around the clock activity levels.

These measurements were compared with measurements of fat mass at both the beginning and end of the project. Among other things, this demonstrated that children with the highest fat mass experienced the greatest reduction in the amount of activity over the half-year period.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Mads Fiil Hjorth et al. Fatness predicts decreased physical activity and increased sedentary time, but not vice versa: support from a longitudinal study in 8-11 year old children'. International Journal of Obesity, January 2014

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "If overweight, your child will be less active." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091619.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2014, January 22). If overweight, your child will be less active. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091619.htm
University of Copenhagen. "If overweight, your child will be less active." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091619.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 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:

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