Chronic diseases will abound in the next century. The ones who will be most affected are the children of today. And this prediction wil come true based on this new study published in Dynamic Medicine. which looked at the level of activity of the young and the risk of developing Metabolic Sydrome in adulthood: Diabetes, Hypertension and High cholesterol.
Purpose: Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors that identifies individuals with the highest risk for heart disease. Two factors that may influence the MS are physical activity and aerobic fitness. This study determined if adolescent with the MS had low levels of aerobic fitness and physical activity as children.
This longitudinal, exploratory study had 389 participants: 51% girls, 84% Caucasian, 12% African American, 1% Hispanic, and 3% other races, from the State of North Carolina. Habitual physical activity (PA survey), aerobic fitness (VO2max), body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and lipids obtained at 7-10 y of age were compared to their results obtained 7 y later at ages 14 -17 y.
Eighteen adolescents (4.6%) developed 3 or more characteristics of the MS. Logistic regression, adjusting for BMI percentile, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, found that adolescents with the MS were 6.08 (95%CI = 1.18-60.08) times more likely to have low aerobic fitness as children and 5.16 (95%CI = 1.06-49.66) times more likely to have low PA levels.
Low levels of childhood physical activity and aerobic fitness are associated with the presence of the metabolic syndrome in adolescents. Thus, efforts need to begin early in childhood to increase exercise.
The study tells us that the level of activity is as important as keeping fit! One does not need to be overweight to be at risk. One may not be obese but if the level of activity is low then he is still not fit and therefore at risk of future diseases. This study tells us to allow our kids to be more active rather than live a sedentary lifestyle of gameboys, PSPs and computers.
This study clearly shows the relationship of what we train our kids to do and become to what happens to them in the future. Lets train them early to be fit and healthy so as they can carry their lives in a healthier way!
For me… Teaching our Kids How to keep FIT is the best future we can give them!