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Put the clocks back to help prevent child obesity and diabetes

Published on 09/11/2011

A study has suggested that not putting the clocks back would help in the fight against childhood obesity, since children are influenced by daylight rather than the weather when choosing to play outdoors.

This follows news that three million adults and children now suffer from diabetes, and 90% of these cases are of type 2, which can be caused by being overweight. With nearly a quarter of adults and a fifth of ten year olds now classified as clinically obese, health experts blame the figures on a rise in obesity.

A team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London studied the activity levels of 325 children in south-east England between the ages of 8 and 11. The children wore accelerometers to record the amount of exercise they did each day.

The study showed that children did more exercise outside on long days, particularly at the end of the day during summer, regardless of the weather conditions. In addition, outdoor activity made up more of their overall physical activity than structured sport sessions.

Dr Anna Goodman London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said:

"The fact that kids spend more time playing outdoors and are more physically active overall on these longer days could be important at a population level for promoting their fitness and in preventing child obesity."

This report follows the public health argument for the Daylight Saving Bill, currently under consideration by the House of Commons, proposing to put the clocks forward an extra hour all year round.

Increasing numbers of type 2 diabetes sufferers currently costs the NHS £9billion every year, a tenth of its budget.

With the NHS having to make over £20bn in savings over the next 4 years, the cuts are already being felt by patients without private medical insurance. Waiting lists are increasing, diagnostic tests are being restricted, and cancer drugs are being turned down.

Compare health insurance policies online now to help you avoid the consequences of obese Britain.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Health
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