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Young children need more exercise

Nursery children need more physical exercise to burn off their energy and stave off the threat of obesity, experts warn.

A Glasgow University team monitored a study group of 545 children who had the recommended adult level of exercise - 30 minutes, three times a week.

"But that activity was not enough to affect the children's body mass index", the British Medical Journal reports.

Experts suggest children need an hour of daily exercise and a healthy diet.

"It's vital that youngsters get regular physical activity to lay the foundations for good health as they grow up"
Dr Mike Knapton of the British Heart Foundation

One in four children in England is obese, and schools are beginning tests to see if their pupils are overweight.

From next year, pupils will be weighed and measured as they start primary school and again before they leave.

Parents of any obese four- or 10-year-olds can expect a letter telling them their child faces long-term health damage unless they lose weight.

Based on current trends, one million children will be obese by 2010, experts estimate.

The authors of the latest study suggest exercise alone is unlikely to reduce this figure.

Little impact

Professor John Reilly and his team studied 545 children at 36 nurseries in Glasgow.

The children had their weight and height measured at the beginning of the study to work out their body mass index (BMI) - a measure of what is a healthy and unhealthy weight for a person.

Half of the ... continue > 

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Published: 6 October 2006      Ref: BBC News


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