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Home Industry News Childhood obesity initiatives ‘must focus on food’

Childhood obesity initiatives ‘must focus on food’

9th July 2010

A new study has challenged the idea that childhood obesity is mainly caused by inactivity and a lack of exercise.

According to scientists at the EarlyBird Diabetes Study, based at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, a lack of exercise appears to be a consequence of obesity, rather than a cause.

The researchers followed a group of more than 200 city school children for the past 11 years, finding that ten per cent more body fat in a seven-year-old leads to four minutes less moderate or vigorous exercise each day.

Professor Terry Wilkin, lead author of the study, says this adds up over time, with boys partaking in less than an hour’s worth of moderate physical activity daily, while the figure was around 45 minutes among girls.

The study concluded: “Physical inactivity appears to be the result of fatness rather than its cause. This reverse causality may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting physical activity have been largely unsuccessful.”

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