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HHS HealthBeat (October 4, 2012)

Kids, sports, and weight

A young boy and a soccer ball.
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Ways to Get Active

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Kids, who play a sport or more than just one, may be scaling up better in health, than those kids sitting in the stands. Researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire surveyed over 1,700 adolescents, to see how different forms of physical activity influenced their risk of being overweight or obese.

Dr. Keith Drake is at the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth College.

“Every additional sports team adolescents played on was associated with a ten percent decrease in their risk of overweight, up to three sports. Playing on two sports teams or more was associated with a 39 percent decrease in an adolescent’s risk of obesity.”

Dr. Drake and his colleagues suggest that high schoolers participate in at least two sports per year.  

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: October 4, 2012