Some good news today in a world seemingly dominated by negative headlines: teens are eating more veggies and exercising more!
As reported in the NY Times, the new trend may be contributing to slowing down previously skyrocketing obesity rates.
Childhood obesity rates, which have more than doubled since 1980, leveled off by 2010. The proportion of those who are overweight hovers around 17 percent.
Obese children tend to be obese adults, which raises the risk of heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
Federal recommendations suggest children get at least an hour of physical activity a day. The new report shows that kids exercise less than five days a week while spending more than two hours a day staring at monitors (computer, TV, video games, etc.).
Interestingly, it’s the younger children that are eating better and exercising more, decreasingly so as they get older. Hopefully this is a sign that the obesity tide is turning with the younger generation. Study author, Dr. Ronald J. Iannotti, hopes so.
“In some ways you can interpret what we found positively by saying we’re beginning to bend the curve, and hopefully we’ll start seeing a downward trend in obesity. But there’s large room for improvement.”
Teens also seem to be drinking less soda and easting less candy. Boys seem to be more physically active than girls, but they report watching more TV and playing more video games as well.
The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.
Image source: itstockphoto.com
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