As reported by the Washington Post, a study led by Rebecca Franckle at Harvard University has found that "Despite the criticism schools face,

something about that environment is actually promoting healthy growth opportunities."

Franckle's research "…hints that kids in the 5-to-12 age range may be more sedentary, spending more time in front of television and computer screens and eating more fattening snacks when they leave the structured environment that school provides each day. Their sleep patterns are also probably less regular."

The bulk of the study done by Franckle and her colleagues was to review "seven studies of summer weight gain among children in the United States, Canada and Japan, and they found six that showed it accelerated for at least some of the kids."

Furthermore, Franckle says the children that are the most vulnerable "…are kids who are already overweight or obese and poorer minority children. Low-income kids, the study speculates, have less access to summer camps and other places where they can get some exercise."

Dr. Michael Gabriel of GPM Pediatrics comments on Franckle's research. "Although her research is not 100 percent conclusive at this point, there are close correlations between number and type of activities versus the summer months for children. In the end, what is most important is that children continue to enjoy outdoor activities and get outside during the summer."

Dr. Gabriel also noted. "As I am doing summer check-ups, the kids who are more active because they have camp, play outside, etc.—their BMIs go down. The kids who stay inside and focus on television or video games and snack throughout—their BMIs go up. There is a definite correlation between getting outside during the summer, being active and the weight of children."

SOURCE GPM Pediatrics

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