Team sports make teens less likely to be overweight or obese

HealthDay reports on a study published in Pediatrics finding that “teens who play on three or more sports teams are much less likely to be overweight or obese than their peers who don’t play a sport.”

It “also found that high school students who walk or ride a bike to school are less likely to be obese – but not less likely to be overweight – than their bus-riding counterparts,” while “school physical education programs don’t alter the risk of obesity or of being overweight.”

WebMD reports, “Teens who play on three or more sports teams are up to 39% less likely to be obese,” while “teens who actively commuted to school more than three days a week had a 33% lower risk of obesity than teens who took the bus or were driven to school.”

Reuters reports that 40 percent of those who did not play on a team were overweight or obese while 22 percent of those who played on at least two teams were.

CNN reports in its “the Chart” blog, “Researchers believe playing high school sports, which usually involve regular practices and competitions, reduces a child’s chances of having a weight problem because of the strenuous and consistent workouts. Therefore, study authors conclude, increasing a child’s opportunity to play sports, even if they are not gifted athletes, should be a priority, especially for teens and children entering middle school or high school.”

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