Physical exercise has little impact on obesity in young children

October 05, 2006

Physical activity is unlikely to have a significant effect in reducing levels of obesity amongst pre-school children, but could lay the foundations for a healthier future, a BMJ study reveals today.

Childhood obesity has become an increasing problem over recent years (1), yet there is a lack of high quality evidence on the issue, and how it can best be tackled. A team of researchers from Glasgow undertook a large study - involving 545 pre-school children from 36 nurseries - to ascertain whether or not an increase in levels of exercise could reduce a child's Body Mass Index (BMI).

The participating children (average age of 4.2 years) took part in a nursery based active play programme consisting of three sessions of 30 minutes each week. In addition their parents were given guidance on increasing physical play at home. BMI readings for each child were taken after six months and then again after a year, they were also assessed for movement skills and 'habitual physical activity and sedentary behaviour' - i.e. whether or not the increased activity led to a reduction in sedentary behaviour and/or an increase in physical activity.

The researchers found that the increased level of exercise had little effect on the BMI or on the activity behaviours of the children. However, it did help to improve the children's motor and movement skills. The researchers say that this improvement may foster an increase in activity levels by increasing the confidence and ability of children to carry out physical activity, which could affect long-term levels of body fat.

The authors conclude that to prevent obesity in early childhood may require change not just at nursery school and home, but also in the 'wider environment', and that changes in diet are also necessary. They call for further research into the issue 'to identify successful and sustainable interventions for obesity prevention and physical activity promotion in young children'.
-end-


BMJ

Related Obesity Articles from Brightsurf:

11 years of data add to the evidence for using testosterone therapy to treat obesity, including as an alternative to obesity surgery
New research covering 11 years of data presented at this year's European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) show that, in obese men suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone), treatment with testosterone injections lowers their weight and improves a wide range of other metabolic parameters.

Overlap between immunology of COVID-19 and obesity could explain the increased risk of death in people living with obesity, and also older patients
Data presented in a special COVID-19 session at the European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) suggests that there are overlaps between the immunological disturbances found in both COVID-19 disease and patients with obesity, which could explain the increased disease severity and mortality risk faced by obese patients, and also elderly patients, who are infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

New obesity guideline: Address root causes as foundation of obesity management
besity management should focus on outcomes that patients consider to be important, not weight loss alone, and include a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of obesity, according to a new clinical practice guideline published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.191707.

Changing the debate around obesity
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) needs to do more to address the ingrained stigma and discrimination faced by people with obesity, says a leading health psychologist.

Study links longer exposure to obesity and earlier development of obesity to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
Cumulative exposure to obesity could be at least as important as actually being obese in terms of risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]).

How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.

Should obesity be recognized as a disease?
With obesity now affecting almost a third (29%) of the population in England, and expected to rise to 35% by 2030, should we now recognize it as a disease?

Is obesity associated with risk of pediatric MS?
A single-center study of 453 children in Germany with multiple sclerosis (MS) investigated the association of obesity with pediatric MS risk and with the response of first-line therapy in children with MS.

Women with obesity prior to conception are more likely to have children with obesity
A systematic review and meta-analysis identified significantly increased odds of child obesity when mothers have obesity before conception, according to a study published June 11, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Nicola Heslehurst of Newcastle University in the UK, and colleagues.

Obesity medicine association announces major updates to its adult obesity algorithm
The Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) announced the immediate availability of the 2019 OMA Adult Obesity Algorithm, with new information for clinicians including the relationship between Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Dyslipidemia, and Cancer; information on investigational Anti-Obesity Pharmacotherapy; treatments for Lipodystrophy; and Pharmacokinetics and Obesity.

Read More: Obesity News and Obesity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.