People who engage in exercise in early childhood have been found to have a significantly lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome in early adulthood compared to those who did not.
This was the findings of a study published by the International Journal of Obesity and conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia, the Menzies Institute for Medical Research in Hobart, Australia, and the George Institute for Global Health at Oxford University’s online edition.
They sought to determine whether higher levels of fitness in childhood has an impact on risk factors that are associated with coronary artery disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes, reports Science Daily.
“While a number of studies have found that higher levels of aerobic fitness can substantially reduce the cardiovascular disease risks associated with adult obesity, few studies have looked to see whether this might also be true regarding childhood obesity,” Michael Schmidt, an associate professor in the College of Education’s department of kinesiology, said. Schmidt is the lead author of the study.
The study looked at 1,792 Australians who joined a national childhood health and fitness survey at age 7 to 15 years in 1985. Twenty years later, fresh data was collected from the participants to determine the results of the research.
Data from 1985 included the results of a one-mile run to assess cardiorespiratory fitness as well as waist circumference measures to assess abdominal fat in childhood.
The research found that those who had exercised in childhood were 36 per cent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome in early adulthood.
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