Reuters Health is reporting a new study suggesting that children who regularly exercise and limit their time in front of the TV and computer are much less likely to be overweight or obese.
This is exactly what I reported in my book SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children devote no more than two hours per day to watching TV and playing video games.
Experts also encourage children to exercise regularly; some groups, including the AAP, recommend that boys move enough to take 13,000 steps each day, while girls should strive for 11,000.
Another common recommendation is for children and teenagers to get at least one hour of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week.
This new study gives support to my and other experts’ guidelines parents should encourage their children to comply with both exercise and less screen time.
The researchers found that among boys who met the recommendations on exercise and screen time, 10 percent were overweight. Among girls meeting both recommendations, 20 percent were overweight. That compared with 35 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls who met neither recommendation.
“Both physical activity and screen time are important factors in childhood overweight,” the researchers said.
Unfortunately, the investigators found, only a minority of children in their study were meeting experts’ recommendations. About 44 percent were getting enough exercise, while just 31 percent were limiting their screen time to less than two hours per day.
You can see if your family is at risk by using my Fit Family Assessment tool.
Also, you can find an 8-week Family Fitness Plan at my website.