Drug testing

What Might Surprise You About Childhood Obesity

The formula is pretty straightforward: energy in/energy out. This is the term nutritionists use to describe the intended balance between calories consumed and calories burned. If the level of physical activity is not great enough to burn the amount of calories taken in, weight increases. If this imbalance continues, overweight and possibly obesity result.

Given our fondness for fast food (an ever-growing fondness, due to ever-busier lives) and our tendency to "supersize," it's easy to imagine that caloric intake is the crux of the obesity problem. And certainly it is part of the problem, especially considering the quality of the calories consumed. (Recent evidence indicates that children get a full quarter of their vegetable servings in the form of potato chips and French fries!) But the greater problem lies with the second half of the equation: energy out.

Studies both here and abroad have indicated this is true. The Framingham Children's Study, for example, found that preschool children with low levels of physical activity gained significantly more subcutaneous (beneath the skin) fat than did more active children. In another study it was determined that inactive preschoolers were 3.8 times more likely than active preschoolers to have increased triceps skinfold thickness (the best measure of obesity in children) in follow-up assessments. It's also been found that children who watch more than five hours of television a day are almost five times more likely to be overweight than children who watch two hours or less ? with excessive TV viewing considered to contribute to 60 percent of the risk of obesity in children.

More specifically, in the United Kingdom, while the proportion of overweight or obese children remained the same between 1974 and 1984, there was a marked increase in the following decade. The research, reported in the British Medical Journal, determined the change was due not to increased energy (calorie) intake but rather to a decrease in energy output.

Studies in the United States have made the same determination. An increase in childhood obesity of 20 percent over the last decade (at least one in five American children is currently overweight) has occurred despite a decrease in overall fat consumption and little change in caloric intake.

According to the authors of a research article appearing in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, there is one consistent observation that stands out among the studies of energy expenditure in young children. That unfortunate observation is that children under the age of seven seem to expend about 20 to 30 percent less energy in physical activity than the level recommended by the World Health Organization.

Sedentary children? Obese children? Unfit children? They're all a fact of life in today's society. The sad irony is that in today's society we're more "active" than ever ? in terms of "busyness," that is. Perhaps we should get busy becoming more active in the physical sense. Energy out is the key to maintaining an appropriate weight during childhood. As such, exercise (mostly in the form of active play) should be a natural part of the child's daily life ? a habit as common as brushing teeth.

Said Dr. Samuel Abbate, at a childhood obesity conference sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Health: "The consequences of denying the body exercise are just as severe as depriving it of food, water, or oxygen; it just takes longer to see the consequences."

Rae Pica is a children's physical activity specialist and the author of Your Active Child: How to Boost Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Development through Age-Appropriate Activity (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Rae speaks to parent and education groups throughout North America. You can visit her and read more articles at http://www.movingandlearning.com.

In The News:

Beachgoers in Bonita Spring, Florida were treated to a strange sight last week: an alligator going for a swim.
A remarkable map created in space over 50 years ago could lead a modern-day explorer to the sites of treasure-laden shipwrecks in the Bahamas.
Scientists studying bones unearthed from an ancient tomb in China’s Shaanxi Province have discovered the remains of a new but totally extinct species of ape.
Mars may be known as the Red Planet, but it's a "blue dune" image NASA has released that's got everyone talking.
Experts in Italy say they have found the earliest surviving work by Leonardo da Vinci.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is pouring £3million ($4 million) into a project to create killer mosquitoes that destroy each other through sex.
Bedrock under Antarctica is rising more swiftly than ever recorded — about 1.6 inches (41 millimeters) upward per year. And thinning ice in Antarctica may be responsible.
A new study validates Einstein's theory of general relativity in a distant galaxy for the first time.
On Mars, the sky is dust.
A small moon rock gifted to Cambodia by the United States amid the Vietnam War has resurfaced after being all but lost to time and strife.

Advantages of Using a Board Certified Pediatrician

When a child is born, a new number is added... Read More

Sibling Rivalry: The Magic Trick That Stops It Instantly

It's a familiar scene: Kids screaming at each other, complaining... Read More

Maximizing Your ADHD Childs Performance in School.

As a parent there are lots of things that you... Read More

The Science of Mother Love

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the way... Read More

A New Idea For Kids Party Parties: Hiring A Caricaturist Can Make Your Kids Party A Real Blast!

There's a new trend for party entertainment. It seems as... Read More

You Want Whaaat???

Not too long ago my teenage daughter approached me with... Read More

Cloning; is it for you?

What would it be like to have a clone? What... Read More

How Can I Teach My Child Respect?

A common theme over the past 20 years has been... Read More

Best Tips for Stress Free Child Party Games

When planning a child birthday party, just a little bit... Read More

Healthy Eating Alone Is Not The Answer

Along with eating healthier we need to be more active.... Read More

Homeschooling Takes Your Child Out of Public School --- A Unique Benefit

Home-schooling removes children from public school. That alone makes home-schooling... Read More

Develop Your Childs Genius: The King of Games - the Game of Kings

Many people still think that the game of chess is... Read More

Bring On The Music To Help Your Child Learn Faster And More Effectively

Do you remember how you first learned the alphabet? I... Read More

What Parents Should Do For Children To Do Their Best After Divorce?

Why do some children still do best after divorce and... Read More

10 keys to Developing Your Childs Genius

Would you like your child to be the best that... Read More

Puberty - Get Ready to Play the Puberty Game

Puberty can be a difficult time for children. Not quite... Read More

Why Wont My Teens Clean Their Room?

Have you ever had this struggle with your teens? Did... Read More

Unique Baby Names

What's in a name? Er?well, everything, really! Of course your... Read More

Parenting

This article on parenting is by a practicing relationship counsellor/therapist,... Read More

The Secret, Unconscious Game Children and Parents Play Where No One Wins!

Did you know there's a game children and parents play... Read More

Tips for Single Parents

Prioritize. Learn to say No. Steal some time for yourself.Don't... Read More

The Homeopathic Nutraceutical Attend as an Alternative to Ritalin

You no longer have to use Ritalin or other stimulants... Read More

Helping Your Kid?s Grow a Garden

Start some gardening traditions with your kids. Give them their... Read More

Navigating in the New World: Parents and Teenagers Growing Together

One of the most prevalent myths of our modern culture... Read More

Youth In A Changing World

IntroductionChildren are the gifts of God to parents. That young... Read More

led high bay pedestrian street light Pete's produce ..