Inactivity Causes Childhood Obesity -- Empty Jungle Gym

The “American diet” gets a lot of flak and makes our country the butt of a lot of international jokes. As we saw last week, however, Americans have actually been reducing their overall caloric intake for over a decade now, especially when it comes to sodas filled with refined sugar and empty carbs.

This week we have a little more evidence that what Americans are eating might not be the center of the problem. A new study encompassing kids from all socioeconomic strata across the entire world indicates that one of the biggest predictors of childhood obesity is failure to get at least 60 minutes of exercise in per day.

Exercise Over All

The study comes to us from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center and was just published in the journal Obesity.[1]

6,000 children between the ages of 9 and 12 were surveyed, representing every continent except Antarctica. The survey made a point to vary country selection so that both highly and poorly developed countries were equally represented, as well as picking children from families that were both high- and low-income relative to their national economy.

Lack of sleep was also linked to obesity, but an overabundance of television as compared to a dearth of physical activity was the key factor separating obese children from those considered to be a normal weight for their age.

The Internet, Helicopter Parents, and Vidya Games — The Real Causes Of Childhood Obesity?

The study didn’t draw these conclusions, but the general results seem to support a lot of popular anecdotal beliefs about raising healthy children.

First, that there’s probably just too many gadgets in kids’ lives now — not just the TV, but tablets, portable games, computers and phones. Now, we love all these things here, but we’re also grown adults. Kids frequently don’t have the knowledge or self-discipline to not spend all their time gorging on digital pursuits, and need good parental intervention to ensure they’re getting out and active and staying healthy.

We’re also left wondering if the increasing cultural tilt toward extreme paranoia in child-rearing has something to do with this too. At this blog, we’re all old enough to remember a time when parents let their kids roam through the woods and into town and wherever else without adult supervision.

These days kids are lucky to even be allowed to walk down their own street by themselves! And if they do, they (and their parents) have to worry about the cops being called, as in the famous case of a family in Maryland getting their kids taken away by Child Protective Services for letting them walk home alone from the park earlier this year. Hermetically sealing kids in the house for safety certainly isn’t doing any favors for their fitness or weight.

Don’t Forget Your Zzzzs!

Beach Soccer

We also briefly touched on sleep as being linked to obesity by this study. This ties back to findings we’ve reported on indicating that lack of sleep not only increases caloric intake, but tends to make you crave unhealthy foods all day long as well.

Sleep is key — there’s not much more to say! People’s needs vary, but a solid six hours is a bare minimum, and seven or eight is probably a safer indication that you’ve had all you need. If you need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning, or you often feel like you need a long afternoon nap, odds are you AREN’T getting enough.[2]

Pyroxamine for adult dieters

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It’s the ideal complement when you’ve got your diet and exercise on point to get you in the zone and add an extra thermogenic and lipolytic boost.

Note: Although this article is on childhood obesity, Pyroxamine is a product only for users 18 and older!

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