According to a recent study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, kids who engage in walking and/or cycling are less likely to be at risk of obesity than those who do not. The research was conducted in an attempt to assess the impact of extra-curricular physical activities on obesity levels among primary school children. The findings of the study suggested that kids who actively commuted to school were less likely to be obese or overweight and had lower body fat in comparison to those who used car or public transport.
Over 2,000 primary school children were part of the research and according to the researchers, instead of body-mass index (BMI), physical activity was a better predictor of obesity level in kids as it not only looked at fat mass alone but also on total weight, including 'healthy' muscle mass.
"Both BMI itself and the points at which high BMI is associated with poor health vary with age, sex and ethnicity," said the study's first author Lander Bosch, a Ph.D scholar at University of Cambridge.
"While adjustments have been made in recent years to account for these variations, BMI remains a flawed way to measure the health risks associated with obesity," Bosch said.
Likewise, the commonly-used body-mass index was used to check obesity risk in children. Surprisingly, children who engaged in sports activities on a daily basis appeared more likely to be overweight compared to those who participated in sports less than once a week.
"The link between frequent participation in sport and obesity levels has generated inconsistent findings in previous research, but many of these studies were looking at BMI only," asserted Bosch.
"However, when looking at body fat instead, we showed there was a trend whereby children who were not active were more likely to be overweight or obese. It's likely that when looking at the BMI, some inactive children aren't classified as obese due to reduced muscle mass," he noted.
The researchers concluded by saying that active commuting to school could be "promising" for combating childhood obesity. "It's something so easy to implement and it makes such a big difference," said Bosch.
Other than just physical activities, a lot also depends on what you consume in your diet in order to manage obesity. While intake of junk and processed food is known to cause obesity problem in kids and adults alike, few dietary tweaks could possibly help you go a long way to in keeping a check on your weight.
Here Are 3 Diet Tips To Manage Obesity:
Ditch Refined Carbs For Whole Grains
You can start by replacing refined carbs with whole grains in your diet. If you have been using white rice to prepare your lunch or dinner meals, replace it with red, black or brown rice instead. Ragi, maize, bajra, and jowar are some nutrient-dense whole grains.
Avoid Red Meat
If you are trying to lose weight, you must opt for lean meat instead of red meat to meet your weight loss goals as lean meat contains ample protein, which is said to promote weight loss by inducing satiety.
(Also Read: What is Lean Meat & Why It Is Preferred Over Red Meat?)
Lean meat contains ample protein, which is said to aid weight loss
Say No To Trans Fats
Most kids are fond of indulging in delights like pizzas, pastas, burgers, cookies and noodles; all of which are sources of trans fats that are known to induce weight gain. So it is best avoid them.