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Study approves steps to help children avoid obesity

Researchers have approved guidelines laid down as part of an attempt to halt the childhood obesity spiral.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), boys and girls should take at least 11,000 and 13,000 steps a day respectively in order to stay fit and healthy, while also curtailing the number of hours they spend in front of the TV watching programmes and playing video games to two hours a day maximum.

These guidelines have been backed up following a study by Kelly Laurson and his colleagues from Iowa State University.

They examined 709 children between seven and 12 years of age, all of whom were asked to wear a pedometer.

"Children not meeting the physical activity or exceeding the screen time recommendations were three to four times more likely to be overweight than those complying with both recommendations," Mr Laurson highlighted.

Around 20 per cent of the children who took part in the survey were classed as overweight, with less than 50 per cent complying with both of the guidelines.

Researchers believe that by encouraging physical activity and limiting screen time, guardians can reduce the risk of children putting on weight.
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