Call to revise guidelines on physical activity for children

UK guidelines on how much physical activity children need to do to prevent becoming overweight or obese need to be revised, say UK researchers.

Current guidelines recommend that children exercise for at least an hour every day.

But this latest study, which tracked the long-term health of 307 children born between 1995 and 1996, found that only 42 per cent of boys and just 11 per cent of girls managed the recommended weekly amounts.

No difference in weight change was found between those who did and did not meet the guidelines.

But both boys and girls who met the guidelines showed progressive improvement in their predictive health indicators, while those who did not showed a progressive deterioration.

The researchers, from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, concluded that applying the same guideline to both sexes might not be appropriate.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

BMJ on child obesity

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