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Can Childhood Obesity be Combated by Adding More PE Classes - A New Study Says No

Posted on Jun 01, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

A new study presented at the 17th annual European Congress on Obesity is challenging the nation that adding more PE classes to school time will make a difference in childhood obesity. The study found that:

  • kids who exercised more in school tended to be less active at home
  • Kids who were less active at school were more active at home.
  • So essentially, the child got the same amount of exercise.
These findings could affect anti-obesity policies that are looking to to increase a child's activity time by increasing the number of playgrounds, sports facilities and adding more PE classes to a school's program.

But I say, just use some common sense. We know that kids need to be active for good overall health. How active they are depends on a lot of things. But a good rule to strive for is getting your child to be active for at least 1 hour a day.

If a child is not very active and they suddenly begin to do more activity, it is expected that they are going to feel tired afterwards. Why? Because their body is not use to it and so perhaps, in the beginning, they will be less active later in the day. But then, after increasing their active level for a few weeks they will build more stamina.

I remember the start of soccer season. My kids came home and they were tired. They weren't use to all the running at first. But after a couple of weeks, they started coming home and weren't tired. In fact, they would go to play at the park with their friends.

I also think kids are motivated to do things they enjoy. So finding activities they like will help motivate them.

My point is, I appreciate the studies, but as parents, we have to use common sense. Get those kids moving! At first they will be more tired, but after a bit, they will feel more energized.

Resources: Read more on how to get your child active

Set activity goals with your child with this fun "Get your child moving and being active" Agreement

View and print the kids activity tracking sheet





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