Article Text

PDF
Physical activity and obesity in children
  1. Andrew P Hills1,
  2. Lars Bo Andersen2,3,
  3. Nuala M Byrne4
  1. 1Griffith University and Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Department of Exercise Epidemiology, Institute of Sport Sciences and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andrew P Hills, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University and Mater Medical Research Institute, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane, QLD 4101 Australia; a.hills{at}griffith.edu.au

Abstract

Globally, obesity is affecting an increasing proportion of children. Physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of becoming overweight and obese in childhood and adolescence, and reducing the risk of obesity in adulthood. Puberty and the following adolescent period are acknowledged as particularly vulnerable times for the development of obesity due to sexual maturation and, in many individuals, a concomitant reduction in physical activity. In many Western settings, a large proportion of children and adolescents do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines and, typically, those who are more physically active have lower levels of body fat than those who are less active. Active behaviours have been displaced by more sedentary pursuits which have contributed to reductions in physical activity energy expenditure. Without appropriate activity engagement there is an increased likelihood that children will live less healthy lives than their parents. Owing to the high risk of overweight adolescents becoming obese adults, the engagement of children and adolescents in physical activity and sport is a fundamental goal of obesity prevention.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.