Is Child Obesity on the Decline?

Contributed by JC Boushh

According to the recent findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine researchers from the obesity center at Temple University are seeing an overall decline in childhood obesity in their study group of 4,500 students. Researchers followed students from sixth grade to eighth grade and half of the students in the study were involved in higher levels of physical activity and a healthier cafeteria diet. Preliminary findings indicate that 3.4 to 5.4 percent of the children involved saw a decline in childhood obesity by the time they reached the eighth grade.

The NCLB Compliant Playground Program research also indicates that the potential to improve the health of children and their levels of physical activity is increased by the promotion of physically active recess games. Research review indicated the following.

· Playground markings are currently a popular intervention strategy in the increasing epidemic of childhood obesity.

· Playground Markings increase children’s physical activity levels.

· Scientifically based research cited in the literature review demonstrates that a research base exists to support the use of playground markings for improving children’s physical activity levels.

The results from both studies showing promising results in relationship to childhood obesity prevention coupled with physical activity and healthy diet. The potential to increase children’s physical activity level during recess by simple and inexpensive playground markings is an easy and cost effective way to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity and unhealthy sedentary habits.