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HHS HealthBeat (April 29, 2014)

Active healthy kids

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Being physically active can make a health difference even in elementary school kids. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researcher Naiman Khan saw this in data on more than 200 8- and 9-year-olds over nine months.

Half the kids were assigned to moderate to vigorous activity 70 minutes a day, five days a week – the rest weren’t. The active kids showed improvements in fitness and some loss of fat. But Khan says inactive kids didn’t – and overweight inactive kids had a tendency to gain belly fat:

“Overweight and obese children who did not receive daily physical activity appear to gain fat in the area of the body that has a greater association with cardiovascular disease.”

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 29, 2014