Review: plenty of health reasons to get those young kids active

If being active is good for you — and you know it is — how important is it for young kids? Very, suggests a new review of the research out of the United Kingdom. The review points to how running about and playing sports as children links to numerous health benefits, many of which relate to lowering cancer risk decades later as adults.

For the review, researchers at the British Heart Foundation for Public Health England, part of the UK’s Department of Health, looked at how activity improves 5- to 11-year-olds mental, physical and long-term behaviors.

After finding then rating the studies, the review found strong evidence that activity helps kids’ cardiometabolic health, which puts them at lower risk to develop type 2 diabetes, obesity and other issues related to poor metabolic health. These studies generally focused on how physical activity linked to risk factors for chronic diseases, such as insulin levels and markers of inflammation. Many of these risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes are also shared factors for increased cancer risk.

Here’s the PDF of the evidence review, and below is the summary of what they found.

Rapid evidence review on the effect of physical activity participation among children aged 5 –11 years. Public Health England

Rapid evidence review on the effect of physical activity participation among children aged 5–11 years. Public Health England

Evidence relating to how physical activity improves body fatness/composition was not as Continue reading


Study: Overweight Girls, Teens Face Increased Colorectal Cancer Risk Decades Later

Girls who are overweight as young children and teens may face increased risk for colorectal cancer decades later, regardless of what they weigh as adults, suggests a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. The study is partially funded by AICR. canstockphoto8674628

In an unexpected finding, the same link for overweight boys and adult colorectal cancer was not found.

While the link between overweight adult and higher risk of developing colorectal cancer is clear — for both women and men — the role of excess body fat as a child is an emerging area of research.

For the study, researchers pulled data from almost 110,000 people who were part of two large and long-term population studies. One included only women, the Nurses’ Health Study, and the other men, the Health Professionals Follow-up study.

Back in 1988, everyone had picked from a set of nine body shapes on what they looked like at ages 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40, along with their current age. Then everyone regularly answered questionnaires about their weight, activity, diet and other lifestyle habits. Continue reading


Kids, Pizza and Cancer Prevention

Pizza is popular – for kids’ parties, family night out and even late night snacks. But pizza can pack a lot of calories and that can lead to weight gain, which can increase cancer risk. Child Preparing Pizza

A study published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics dissects the role pizza plays in weight and nutrition for children and adolescents. Although the researchers found that overall, daily calories from pizza are lower than a decade ago, children and adolescents who eat pizza also consume more calories, saturated fat and salt each day than non-pizza eaters.

Study authors also found that if the pizza was from a fast food restaurant or was eaten as a snack, it added even more calories than if the pizza was from school cafeterias or from home. Overall, teens averaged about 320 calories more per day when eating pizza from a fast food restaurant than days when they didn’t eat pizza at all.

Being overweight as a kid may lead to being overweight as an adult. Overweight and obese adults have an increased risk for many common cancers, type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

How can you help your child learn to enjoy pizza as a meal, treat or even as a healthful contribution to their diet? Check out our blog where I give a few tips on how to order and make a healthier pizza.