A study of Scottish children says exercise programs at school do little to prevent childhood obesity.
The researchers found children of the same age averaged exactly the same daily activity, no matter their circumstances, the Glasgow Herald reported. They say pupils with extensive exercise programs at school will simply exercise less outside school and vice versa.
The study contradicts the established notion that time spent in front of the television or playing video games has a detrimental impact on children's health, the newspaper said.
The report, led by Terry Wilkin, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, looked at nearly 600 children in Britain from a cross-section of schools and socio-economic backgrounds. It included 70 boys and girls aged 6 from a Glasgow primary school.
Only five out of every 100 primary schools in Scotland provide pupils with the recommended two hours a week of physical exercise, while just 7 percent of secondary schools meet that figure, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Study examines top high school students' stress and coping mechanisms