More Sports, Walking, and Biking Makes for Slimmer Teens

by Chris Curley on July 17, 2012

High-school aged teens who play on several sports teams or walk or bicycle to school are much less likely to be overweight or obese, HealthDay News reported July 16

Teens who play on three or more sports teams throughout the year have a 27-percent lower risk of being overweight and a 39-percent reduced chance of being obese than teens who don’t play sports, a new study led by researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College  finds.

Teens who bike or walk to school 3.5 days per week or more also have about one-third the risk of becoming obese than those who commute by car or bus, but have roughly the same risk of being overweight, the study shows.

”If parents are truly interested in preventing overweight and obesity, getting their kids to join one or more sports teams may be an effective way to do that,” says lead study author Keith Drake.

The key is to get your kids interested in sports early so they’ll be more likely to want to participate in them later in life, Drake says. Even if your child isn’t inclined toward team sports, “I believe there is an activity our there for every child, and I would encourage parents to let them try many activities,” he says.

“It really might be worth all that driving you’ll have to do,” he adds.

The study appears online in the journal Pediatrics.

 (Photo © Bradley Gee via Flickr)