More time in gym class lowers obesity risk in kids
Washington: Increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability of obesity, a new study from Cornell University has found.
The study represents some of the first evidence of a causal effect of physical education (PE) on youth obesity.
The research offers support for the recommendations of organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, all of which have advocated increasing the amount of time that elementary school children spend in gym class, said lead researcher and Cornell professor of policy analysis and management, John Cawley, who conducted the study with Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University (Cornell Ph.D. 2002) and David Frisvold of Emory University.
Treating variation in the amount of time that states mandate schoolchildren spend in PE as natural experiments, the researchers found that an additional 60 minutes per week of PE time (enough to bring states without an explicit requirement up to the amount of PE recommended by the CDC) reduces the probability that a fifth-grader is obese by 4.8 percentage points.
The researchers also detected a gender difference: additional PE time reduces weight for boys but has a negligible effect for girls.
One explanation for this difference, said Cawley, is that PE and other types of physical activity are complements for boys (increased PE leads boys to be more active in structured physical activities like organized sports), but substitutes for girls (increased PE leads girls to spend more time watching television).
The finding will be published in the Journal of Health Economics.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- SP leader seeks RS seat for Yakub's wife, sacked
- Political war of words erupts over Yakub Memon's execution
- Exclusive chat with Bajrangi Bhaijaan's Munni aka Harshaali Malhotra
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: How do you cope up with ever changing environment in life?
- Mumbai: Woman pushed off from running local train by robbers
- Watch: Passenger plane dangerously oscillates before touching runway
- Yakub Memon's execution: Supreme Court Deputy Registrar quits over judgement
- Indian Army finds cow bombs near border, Maoists hand suspected?
- Delhi's graduate beggar – The amount he earns will shock you!
- Govt formalises strategies to counter ISIS threat, maintain internal security