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Regular exercise reduces depressive symptoms, improves self-esteem in overweight children
Date:3/18/2009

o could routinely be found in the Georgia Prevention Institute, laughing and joking as they exercise.

"There's a message here for all of us that taking some time out of our day to do something physical helps make us better mentally," says Dr. Petty, whose postdoctoral fellowship is supported by a National Institutes of Health training grant to MCG's Vascular Biology Center.

The researchers already are following another group of children for eight months to determine the longer term impact of exercise. They also are bringing the control subjects to the Georgia Prevention Institute each day to ensure that it's exercise, not just the extra attention from participating in an after-school program, that's making the difference.

About 37 percent of children in the U.S. are overweight and about 16.3 percent of children age 2-19 are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Animal studies have shown exercise may help regulate genes that increase levels of brain chemicals that combat depression.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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