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CBC News - Health - Activity no fix for fat kids: study
Physical activity is not the solution to childhood obesity, a British study suggests.

The study of 202 children over three years concluded that excess weight reduces activity, but activity does not affect weight.

"Physical inactivity appears to be the result of fatness rather than its cause. This reverse causality may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting physical activity have been largely unsuccessful," an abstract of the study said.

The results were published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood as part of the EarlyBird Diabetes Study, which is in the 11th year of a 12-year plan to follow 300 children in Plymouth, U.K.

"The implications are profound for public health policy, because the physical activity of children (crucial to their fitness and well-being) may never improve unless the burgeoning levels of childhood obesity are first checked. If this cannot be achieved through physical activity, the focus has to be on what — and how much — children consume," EarlyBird said in a news release

"Fatness leads to inactivity, but inactivity does not lead to fatness."

The study, headed by Brad S. Metcalf of the department of endocrinology and metabolism at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, measured physical activity and body fat. The percentage of body fat "was predictive of changes in physical activity over the following three years, but physical activity levels were not predictive of subsequent changes in body fat per cent," the abstract said.

EarlyBird, which is based in the Peninsula Medical School, has been studying the 300 children to see if it can determine what factors in childhood lead to diabetes in adults.

A 2009 review suggested physical activity only reduced childhood obesity by just 90 grams (three ounces) over three years.

Previous EarlyBird studies have suggested that the path to obesity is established before children go to school, and is associated with obesity in the same-sex parent. The daughters of obese mothers have a 10-fold greater risk of obesity and the sons of obese fathers six-fold greater risk, but the reverse is not true, its website said.

"Parental obesity does not influence the BMI (body mass index) of the opposite-sex child."

In Canada, about 14 per cent of girls and 11 per cent of boys were considered medically obese at the end of a six-year study, Statistics Canada reported last year.

Canadian governments have been encouraging children to be more physically active
This is exactly the phenomenon discussed by Robert Lustig MD in the interview here... Dr Robert Lustig on LLVLC

Once you recognise that "biochemistry drives behaviour" rather than the other way around, you can finally start to make sense of things like Obesity.

Dr Lustig has been part of studies where he found that by controlling the amount of circulating insulin you can affect the level of spontaneous physical activity. By reducing high insulin levels, couch potatoes went outside and took up a sport!


Here is the study in a peer-reviewed journal...Fatness leads to inactivity, but inactivity does not lead to fatness: a longitudinal study in children (EarlyBird 45) -- Metcalf et al. -- Archives of Disease in Childhood

Objective To establish in children whether inactivity is the cause of fatness or fatness the cause of inactivity.

Design A non-intervention prospective cohort study examining children annually from 7 to 10 years. Baseline versus change to follow-up associations were used to examine the direction of causality.

Setting Plymouth, England.

Participants 202 children (53% boys, 25% overweight/obese) recruited from 40 Plymouth primary schools as part of the EarlyBird study.

Main outcome measures
Physical activity (PA) was measured using Actigraph accelerometers. The children wore the accelerometers for 7 consecutive days at each annual time point. Two components of PA were analysed: the total volume of PA and the time spent at moderate and vigorous intensities. Body fat per cent (BF%) was measured annually by dual energy x ray absorptiometry.

Results BF% was predictive of changes in PA over the following 3 years, but PA levels were not predictive of subsequent changes in BF% over the same follow-up period. Accordingly, a 10% higher BF% at age 7 years predicted a relative decrease in daily moderate and vigorous intensities of 4 min from age 7 to 10 years (r=−0.17, p=0.02), yet more PA at 7 years did not predict a relative decrease in BF% between 7 and 10 years (r=−0.01, p=0.8).

Conclusions Physical inactivity appears to be the result of fatness rather than its cause. This reverse causality may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting [physical activity] have been largely unsuccessful.
Seems to me that the advice to "eat less and exercise more" has been around for decades and clearly it isn't working, so perhaps (just perhaps) it is the wrong advice and is based on faulty logic and assumptions.

If we just change our point of view we can start to do some real research that makes progress instead of using complicated orbits within orbits trying to explain why the planets appear to go backwards some times in the night sky... an observation that is hard to reconcile if you are convinced that the Sun and everything else revolves around the Earth... which is after all what it appears to do from our vantage point. Once you realise the true nature of the solar system, (and the establishment finally concedes their misinterpretation) it suddenly becomes much easier to explain the orbit of the planets, and everything else starts to fall into place.
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