Childhood obesity rates 'rise during summer holidays'

2 November 2016

Excess weight and obesity rates among young children tend to increase during summer holidays, according to a new US study.

Research from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin examined body mass index and obesity prevalence among 18,170 US children from the start of kindergarten in 2010 through the end of second grade in 2013.

It was found that all of the increases in overweight and obesity prevalence occurred during the two summer holiday periods, rather than during the three school years.

This comes after a previous US study showed children gained weight faster during summer holidays than during the kindergarten and first-grade school years.

Paul von Hippel, an associate professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, said: "We can't make a dent in this problem if we continue to focus on school food and physical education programmes that affect children only when they're at school."

Recommendations included a reduction of child-directed food marketing, promoting out-of-school activities, reducing time spent looking at screens and educating parents about nutrition.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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