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Obesity researchers call for use of fitness trackers on children

Scientists at the University of California have recently conducted a study into the use of health tracking devices on children to help combat child obesity.

Although adults have used fitness trackers for many years to calculate calories burned and counting steps, experts now want to introduce them for the young.

The university study gathered data from 24 children. Researchers recorded the information to see if a fitness tracker could accurately monitor the activity levels of a child during one week. Three different types of device were used on children aged seven to ten years old. One was worn on the upper arm, one on the waist and the other like a wrist watch.

According to experts, 60 minutes of physical activity each day is recommended for children and the fitness trackers monitored the quantity and quality of the exercise. Feedback from the children and their parents was provided, with the tracker that was worn on the wrist proving to be most popular.

According to data, obesity levels in children have doubled in the last 30 years, while in adolescents they have quadrupled. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that this will have an impact on the long-term health of children.

In addition to the levels of physical activity of a child, nutrition is also important and many schools in the UK are taking steps to improve the diets of children through the introduction of school tuckshops. Tyne and Wear institutions are among those that will stock the tuckshops with healthy snacks to help in the fight against obesity.

Posted by Mark
May 29, 2014
Research

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