The rates of overweight and obesity among kids continue to climb. Food choices and inactivity are considered major culprits. Are electronic devices also to blame?
Scientists from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta have linked use of electronic devices, poor sleep patterns and obesity among Canadian 5th graders. The researchers surveyed sleep habits, food intake, physical activity levels, height and weight measurements, and nighttime use of electronic devices among 3,398 children.
With health threats from overweight and obesity still looming, physical activity in schools continues to be a hot button. How do U.S. children rank when it comes to physical education and exercise? Here are some highlights from the 2012 Shape of the Nation Report: Status of Physical Education in the USA:
14% of students did not participate in at least 60minutes of physical activity on any day during the 7 days before the survey.
71% of students were physically active at least 60 minutes per day on fewer than 7 days during the 7 days before the survey.
Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is physically demanding, and military leaders have developed measures to ensure recruits are “mission-ready.” Unfortunately, a significant number of both first-time applicants and active military personnel do not meet this standard.
Perhaps it’s time fitness professionals schooled physicians on how to solve the obesity problem. According to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, a significant percentage of polled primary-care physicians don’t feel qualified and educated enough to treat obesity.
The study, published in BMJ Open (2012; 2: e001871), included Internet survey data from 500 PCPs throughout the United States.
“We evaluated physician perspectives on the following topics:
Barbara Brehm-Curtis is a professor of exercise and sport studies at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she teaches courses in stress management, nutrition and health. Aside from writing about health- and fitness-related topics for more than 25 years, she has worked as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, lifestyle coach and fitness program director. She has received the San Diego County Medical Society Media Award and was a Maggie Award finalist for regular columns in Fitness Management, where she served as a contributing editor.
It may sound counterintuitive, yet new research from the University of Missouri, Columbia, suggests that eating fewer, larger meals may prove healthier for obese women than eating smaller meals more often. More specifically, consuming three substantial meals per day instead of six small meals may decrease obese women’s risk of developing heart disease.
When viewing food logos, obese children show less activity in regions of the brain associated with self-control than do their healthy-weight counterparts, reports The Journal of Pediatrics.
Researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the University of Kansas Medical Center tested youth aged 10–14, using both self-reported measures of self-control and functional magnetic resonance imaging, which tracks blood flow as a measure of brain activity.
If you were asked to visualize a model of longevity, would you picture someone overweight? Probably not. However, new research suggests that people who carry extra pounds could have a lower all-cause mortality risk than normal-weight people.
Melinda Manore is a professor in the department of nutrition and exercise sciences at Oregon State University. Her areas of expertise include integration of nutrition and physical activity for weight management, and prevention of chronic disease. Aside from authoring more than 100 scientific publications, book chapters and review articles, Manore has written four nutrition textbooks and two books for the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Military Nutrition Research. Throughout her career, she has served on a number of nutrition and exercise editorial boards.