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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS - 9/9/08

Children not shaping up to stats

Tuesday September 9th, 2008

Hopes that children are beginning to increase their exercise rates and may become slimmer may be misplaced, experts warned today.

The real physical activity levels of British children may not match national statistics, according to a report in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

The annual health survey shows children are exercising at increasing levels, but until now this has relied on information supplied by parents.

A research team from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, monitored actual levels of physical activity in 130 children aged between six and seven years over one week, using an accelerometer carried on a waist belt.

National survey data showed 83 per cent of boys and 56 per cent of girls complied with the recommended daily amounts of moderate to vigorous physical exercise.

But the accelerometer showed that only three per cent of boys and two per cent of girls actually did so.

Professor John Reilly from the University of Glasgow said the findings supported national figures showing children's waistlines were expanding and they spent more time in the car.

"Marked improvements in surveillance of physical activity will be necessary in order to meet the major public health challenges of the 21st century," Professor Reilly said.

Online First Arch Dis Chil 2008;doi 10.1136/adc.2007.135905

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Tags: Child & Adolescent Health | Nutrition & Healthy Eating | UK News

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