Increased physical activity in Indian children may slow NCD development

What is known:

  • Lack of physical activity in childhood can lead to disease in adulthood
  • High blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, arthritis, cancers and insulin resistance are among the noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) seen in adults who were physically inactive as children
  • Activity is defined as at least one hour a day of moderate activity or at least three 20-minute sessions of moderate-to-vigorous activity
  • Physical activity in childhood can be encouraged through coaching, modifying the risk profile for adulthood

While it is known that lack of physical activity in childhood can lead to disease in adulthood, there is little research on the extent to which Indian children participate in physical activity, exercise, or sports, according to a literature review by Sumathi Swaminathan and Mario Vaz published online July 12, 2012 in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics.

Key Point: Although studies of unhealthy physical inactivity in children in India have some gaps, it is known that adult diseases such as cardiovascular and metabolic conditions have early onsets, and these diseases may be caused by physical inactivity in childhood. The authors of this study suggest that improving physical activity in young people is one risk factor that can be modified to delay onset of these NCDs.

The authors stress that in India, there are “large gaps in knowledge” about the physical activity levels of children, saying it’s essential to...

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This entry was posted in Non-Communicable Disease, Pediatrics and tagged , , . Volume: .

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