Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fat kids.....

A couple of things that are linked here - lazy kids with fat families.

Fat mum hastens path to childhood obesity

Risk factors for obesity in 7-year-old European children: the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative Study

A fat mother hastens a child’s path to obesity, finds a study published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Other factors included too much time spent in front of the TV and rapidly piling on the pounds in early childhood.

The researchers base their findings on 571 New Zealand children of European heritage, who were regularly monitored from birth to the age of 7 years.

Their percentage body fat, a reliable indicator of overweight and obesity, was calculated at the age of 3½ and 7 years. TV viewing time and the amount of physical activity they took part in were also measured at the age of 7.

Children who had acquired a high percentage body fat by the age of 3½ were significantly more likely to be obese at the age of 7 than those with low percentage body fat.

Children who had rapid growth spurts were more at risk.

But having a mother who was overweight or obese, being a girl, and spending a lot of time in front of the TV were all independently associated with the chances of becoming obese.

Children with overweight or obese mothers had around 4% more body fat than those whose mothers were of normal weight.

It is not clear if genes, exposure to specific factors during pregnancy, or shared lifestyle factors are to blame, say the authors.

Children who spent more than 3 hours a day in front of the TV had 5% more body fat than those who watched TV for less than an hour.

Unsurprisingly, doing very little exercise also significantly boosted the chances of obesity. Every additional hour of inactivity added almost 1% of body fat.

Children “start on the trajectory to overweight and obesity early in life,” warn the authors. Consequently, counter measures also need to be deployed early too, they say.


Less than 3 percent of UK 11-year-olds take enough exercise

Objective measurement of levels and patterns of physical activity

Less than 3 per cent of UK 11 year olds are taking enough exercise, suggests research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

It is recommended that kids spend at least an hour a day doing some form of moderate to vigorous physical activity, in a bid to promote good health and stave off the risks of subsequent obesity and diabetes.

The researchers monitored the physical activity levels of more than 5,500 11 year olds in the South West of England over seven consecutive days between January 2003 and January 2005.

The children were part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), which has tracked the health of more than 14,000 children since birth.

Each child was kitted out with a special piece of equipment (accelerometer), worn on an elasticated belt, which recorded minute by minute the intensity and frequency of physical activity.

The researchers were particularly interested in total levels of physical activity and the amount of moderate to vigorous exercise the kids were taking daily.

When the data were analysed, they showed that the children were around twice as physically active as adults, but they were still not active enough.

Boys were more physically active than girls, and they were also more likely to engage in moderate to vigorous forms of activity.

One in five (22%) girls averaged at least one bout of moderate to vigorous activity a day, lasting at least five minutes. This compares with 40% of the boys.

But both sexes spent most of their day in light intensity activities. Less than 1% of the children averaged at least one 20 minute bout a day.

And only just over 5% of the boys and 0.4% of the girls actually achieved current recommended daily levels of physical activity, equating to 2.5% across both sexes

Only sustained activity is likely to promote cardiorespiratory fitness, say the authors, adding: “It is a sobering thought that children’s activity levels actually peak at around this age [11] and decline precipitously during adolescence.”

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