An Hour of Exercise Every Week Slashes Young Girl Obesity

An article in last Saturday's newsletter demonstrated how short-term increments of at least 10 minutes of exercise three times a day could help lower fats in your blood after eating a fatty meal. But what about America's kids who are suffering just as much from the obesity epidemic?

A new study of 11,000 children found just AN HOUR of exercise a week can greatly reduce obesity rates among young overweight girls. Researchers compared changes in body-mass index (BMI) of obese and overweight girls in kindergarten and first grade. They found the prevalence of obesity and being overweight among the girls fell 10 percent in schools that gave first-graders one hour more of exercise time per week than their kindergartners.

Based on those results, scientists believe giving kindergartners at least five hours of physical education time per week, the amount recommended by the federal government, could potentially reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight among girls by 43 percent.

Even more interesting: Boys didn't enjoy the same results, researchers theorize, because they generally get more exercise than girls.

The study highlights the importance of funding daily physical education in the nation's schools, where about 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, according to government figures.

Exercise must be tied with better eating habits, including rethinking school lunch programs and the presence of school vending machines laden with high-calorie snacks,to fully address the nation's growing epidemic of childhood obesity, scientists said.

Yahoo News September 6, 2004

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