Every so often a new report on childhood obesity comes to light. The bad food habits and the increasingly sedentary life of children, has caused an alarming increase in the cases of children with overweight or obesity.
In the past it seemed like a problem in countries with unhealthy eating habits, like the United States, where junk food is part of the diet in childhood. However, obesity is a problem that we already have around the corner and that is not so difficult to combat in children.
Children play less and less in the street and spend more time with video consoles and computer games, which is why they lead a more sedentary life. This, together with poor eating habits, causes the number of obese children to increase each year. What can parents do to avoid being overweight in childhood?
A bet that comes to us from the University of Western Australia, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Swansea in the United Kingdom is the exergaming, an Anglicism that comes from uniting the word exercise (exercise in English) with gaming (game). These are games offered by consoles such as Xbox, Kinect or Wii in which you interact through physical activity in tests where you have to run, bike, go bowling or jump hurdles.
The researchers ran tests on children who performed high and low intensity exergaming and they measured their energy expenditure. The conclusion they reached was that exergaming generated an energy expenditure comparable to moderate or low intensity exercise, depending on the difficulty of the game. In addition, the game was satisfactory for the children, who enjoyed the activities they did.
It is an advantage that parents can take advantage of to avoid children spending so many hours sitting in front of the console, since it has been shown that they can obtain healthy benefits in the long term. In any case, it must always be one of the means that we can use to encourage children to do some physical activity, but not the only one. Going outside to play, run, jump and jump, must always be on the children's agenda.
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