(WCBD) – September is national childhood obesity awareness month and a new study says that many teens are getting even less exercise than the average adult.
Jennifer Brubaker of Cleveland Clinic Children’s, did not take part in the study, but says that teens should be moving every day to lessen their chances of developing chronic illness as adults.
“Ideally, it’s at least sixty minutes a day of physical activity. And we want them to be active, you know, getting sweaty, getting short of breath; really pushing it and trying to do the most that they can,” Dr. Jennifer Brubaker.
The study looked at data from more than twelve-thousand participants in a national health and nutrition survey.
Researchers found that on average, nineteen-year-olds are about as active as sedentary sixty-year-olds.
According to the CDC, more than twelve-million US children and teenagers are considered to be obese.
And obesity has been linked to several serious chronic adulthood illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type-two diabetes and cancer.
Brubaker says one of the best ways to combat the obesity trend is to get the whole family involved in physical activity – especially teens.
She also says that too much screen time can be a barrier for adolescents to get enough movement in their day.
“Setting limits – healthy limits – for screen time; making sure your kids aren’t sitting around all day long on their screens, you know, trying to encourage them in any way you can to get outside and do more activity,” said Dr. Brubaker.
Dr. Brubaker also points out that teaching your child to be active and eat healthy will make it more likely that they will be able to continue those good habits well into adulthood. She says it’s easier to maintain good habits than it is to break bad ones.