Physical Activity Interventions for Children Not Successful

September 28th, 2012 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

According to a just published meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal, “Physical activity interventions have little effect on the overall activity levels of children, which may explain, at least in part why such interventions have a limited effect on body mass index or body fat. The outcome of this meta-analysis questions the contribution of physical activity to the prevention of childhood obesity.”

The meta-analysis included 30 studies involving 14,326 participants, 6,153 with accelerometer measurements. The pooled results provided strong evidence that physical activity interventions have only a small effect (approximately 4 minutes more walking or running per day) on children’s overall activity levels, explaining why such interventions have limited success in reducing body mass index or body fat in children. After school activity may simply replace other activities the child would be normally engaging in or the child may compensate for the exercise by eating back many or most of the calories expended. BMJ: Effectiveness of intervention on physical activity of children


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