The difference between normal-weight and obesity could be as simple as 16 minutes. The University of South California and the National Institute of Health looked at 3,106 children’s physical activity over 4 days and found:
- Normal-weight children ages 6 to 17 are moderately to vigorously active for 59 minutes a day, compared with 43 minutes for obese children
I guess the extra calories the obese children are eating could be burned off with just a few more minutes of exercise? Or is there something else?
More surprising is that boys in the same age range are getting 20 minutes more exercise than girls.
I really thought girls were just as active as boys these days—playing soccer and even football! Don’t get me wrong they are still getting 44 minutes of activity in on average, but that extra 20 minutes could really make a difference.
So is it a lack of motivation or is it just not ingrained in their brains yet?
There is a great program called Girls on the Run (GOTR), which encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. The program combines training for a 3.1 mile race with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts.
Right now there are GOTR groups in 44 states and in Canada. You should check out your local chapter and see about volunteering.