Navigation Links
Key to More Active, Slimmer Kids: Friends
Date:5/28/2012

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Could your young child be putting on excess pounds because her friends sit around? A small study suggests it's possible: Kids seemed to become more active in after-school programs if they hung out with active kids, and the reverse was true, too.

The findings don't prove that friends directly affect how active kids are, and it's not clear whether there's enough of an impact to make a difference in obesity or activity levels throughout the day.

Still, the research raises questions about whether chubbier kids can be influenced by more active peers, said study co-author Eric Tesdahl, a graduate student in Vanderbilt University's department of human and organizational development. Perhaps, he said, less-active kids could be grouped with more-active ones.

"There's a pretty good chance that you could make some significant changes based on the social-influence factor alone," Tesdahl said. This is especially true, he said, since the research suggests kids don't simply flock to other kids who are like them -- active or non-active -- but instead are influenced by their peers.

In the study, researchers analyzed 81 kids aged 5 to 12 in after-school programs. Their average age was 8 and most were black or Latino. The researchers followed them over three months, asked them about their friends and tracked their activity levels with devices called accelerometers. They only wore the devices during the after-school programs, which lasted for three hours a day.

The kids appeared to adjust their activity levels to those closest to them. While other research has suggested that kids are drawn to those who are most similar to them in terms of obesity -- "obese kids tend to befriend obese kids," as Tesdahl put it -- this study didn't show that.

"It was much more likely for a child to adjust their activity level to that of their friends than it was for them to not adjust or to go in the opposite direction," Tesdahl said.

The study found that children consistently increased their activity levels by 10 percent to be more in line with their peers.

Ray Browning, an assistant professor at Colorado State University's department of health and exercise science, praised the study and said it helps clarify "how relationships affect health-related behavior" even though "it is easy to look at a study like this and say 'duh.'"

However, he said, the study only looks at a few hours of the day. In the big picture, he said, it's "well-established" that peers make a major difference in teenagers when it comes to things like using drugs. But the influence of other kids is not as clear in younger kids.

To make things more complicated, "the friendships of young children are fairly dynamic," he said. "They're forming and reforming with some relatively high frequency."

By contrast, he said, "we tend to think of obesity as more of a chronic condition that we acquire over time. When the friendships are coming and going, you could make the argument that it may have less of an impact."

The study appears in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, published online May 28.

More information:

For more on childhood obesity, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Eric Tesdahl, M.A., graduate student, department of human and organizational development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.; Ray Browning, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of health and exercise science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins; June 2012 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Too Many Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Inactive, Study Finds
2. 15 years after ACL knee reconstruction, 84 percent of male patients still highly active, study says
3. Family Meals Keep Kids Slimmer, Healthier, Study Finds
4. Breast-Feeding Helps Mom Stay Slimmer Later in Life
5. When to have kids: A complex question for hazel dormice
6. Codeine After Surgery Could Endanger Certain Kids: Study
7. Measles Vaccines Wont Raise Seizure Risk in Young Kids: Study
8. Genes Play a Role in Drug Abuse Risk Among Adopted Kids: Study
9. Safety-First Playgrounds Linked to Bored, Inactive Kids: Study
10. Some Asthma Drugs Raise Risk of Complications, Especially in Kids: Study
11. Milk better than water to rehydrate kids: McMaster study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Key to More Active, Slimmer Kids: Friends
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to ... of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be ... vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. ... for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, ... and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained ... Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) today ... allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health care ... coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing need ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of product ... a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing HCEI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform ... developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL ... can get any needed testing done in the comfort of her ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: