The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently released a study concerning the aerobic fitness levels of children and youth across 50 countries. The international research team was co-led by the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the University of North Dakota.
A key finding of this study is that income inequality — the gap between rich and poor as measured by the Gini Index — is strongly correlated with aerobic fitness. Children and youth from countries with a small gap between rich and poor appear to have better fitness.
Does America have the fittest kids? No.
“If all the kids in the world were to line up for a race, the average American child would finish at the foot of the field,” said Dr. Grant Tomkinson, senior author, associate professor, University of North Dakota. “Canada, on the other hand, fared moderately well placing just above middle of the pack. This study is the largest of its kind so it’s exciting to have this evidence at hand.”
So, which countries took the top honors?
Canada placed 19 out of 50 while America placed a dismal 47 out of 50 countries. Mexico has the least fittest children.
“Kids who are aerobically fit tend to be healthy; and healthy kids are apt to be healthy adults. So studying aerobic fitness in the early years is very insightful to overall population health,” said Justin Lang, lead author, Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) research group, CHEO and PhD student, University of Ottawa. “It’s important to know how kids in Canada or America fare on the world stage, for example, because we can always learn from other countries with fitter kids.”
Ensure children are getting enough exercise now while they are young. By encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle in their youth, parents and educators can help kids and teenagers fight childhood obesity while supporting improved health in their adult years.
Children’s level of fitness NOW affects their overall health well into their future.
Do want your kids to get off the couch? Concerned about their weight management? Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back? Fitness for Health’s Healthy Heart class (ages 7 – 17) is just the ticket. Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping, exergaming program. Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.
This program is a cardio clinic used to help children that are overweight. It is a successful product of our collaboration with Potomac Pediatrics to help improve kids’ health and fitness for kids.
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