HEALTH HABITS — NOT HEREDITY — MOST PROBABLY CAUSE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY

Health habits are more to blame for childhood obesity than are genetics. These findings are from a study conducted by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center.

Specifically, check-ups of 1,003 Michigan 6th graders showed children who are obese were more likely to consume school lunch instead of a packed lunch from home and spend two hours a day watching TV or playing a video game.

“For the extremely overweight child, genetic screening may be a consideration,” says study senior author Kim A. Eagle, MD. “For the rest, increasing physical activity, reducing recreational screen time and improving the nutritional value of school lunches offers great promise to begin a reversal of current childhood obesity trends.”

Because the eating and exercise patterns of obese children were so different than their normal weight peers, researchers concluded that lifestyle was more closely linked with childhood obesity, than genetics.

Source:
American Heart Journal – December 2011: 160. www.ahjounline.com

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