Activity Interventions Not Working on Obesity
Nothing the Brits are doing about their obesity epidemic, that is ruining the lives of so many of their (and) our young people is having any noticeable effect. Interventions such as extra weight loss sessions that try to boost physical activity among the young, are showing no evidence of slimming down anyone.
This is the worrying conclusion of a review published in the British Medical Journal. The rising tidal wave of obese and overweight children has been a major concern in the western World for some time. It is scientifically proven in numerous studies that the more active young people are, the lower will be their body weight, as indicated by ‘body mass index’ or BMI. And the more likely they are to stay active through life and stay healthily slim through life.
[box type="note"]Naturally this belief has led to the development of various activity programs to get kids up, jumping and running either in school time or afterwards. Unfortunately, studies are reporting little or no significant improvements in the BMI of the overweight kids.[/box]
The most recent studies out of Plymouth and Exeter universities was a review of empirical studies only i.e. those using actual measurements as opposed to ‘touchy-feely’ questionnaires. The measurements were taken from accelerometer testers, recording waking hours activity with whole body movements of each overweight participant. Only trustworthy databases and research that has been peer referenced, met the strict criteria of the review. All of the data in the review was from health initiatives aimed at increasing activity in youngsters under 16, that lasted for a minimum of 4 weeks and gave measured outcomes using accelerometers.
In total there were thirty randomized control studies in the 22 years from 1990, that went into the review. They were all cross matched according to the age of the participants, the ethnic origins and socioeconomic status. The participants were also grouped by gender and their activity levels prior to program starting. 8 of the studies included were exclusively of overweight or obese children while the other 22 were of participants across the BMI range.
A notable example of the studies was one conducted in America. 729 participants were put through, 3 x 1.5 hour sessions of after school exercise. An hour of which was described as ‘high intensity’ physical activity. But the results showed little or no behavioral change in the youngsters. Measures at the halfway point in the program reported the kids doing an added 5 minutes of walking or running each day. At the close of the intervention even this small improvement had disappeared for all of the children.
[box type="important"]In another study from Scotland, 268 under five-year old kids underwent a 6 month intervention consisting of 3 x ½ hour vigorous exercise classes during the nursery school week. The outcomes of this intervention was also very disappointing as overall physical activity actually went down by 1 minute less of walking or running when compared to a control groups of kids not in the program.[/box]
Related Posts from Other Blogs:
- Exercise Programs May Not Be Effective in Fighting Childhood Obesity – hivehealthmedia.com
- Childhood Obesity Linked to Colorectal Cancer – hivehealthmedia.com
- Running vs. Jogging – Which Is Better for Weight Loss?
- Childhood Obesity Is Making Your Kid Stupid? – healthhabits.ca
- One Child Takes a Stand Against Childhood Obesity – hivehealthmedia.com
- Dr. Oz – Is Childhood Obesity Child Abuse? – healthhabits.ca
- Ontario Docs Call for an Anti-Tobacco Approach to Childhood Obesity – Dr. Sharma