Teen Obesity Growing While Exercise Goals Fall Short

If your teen is just sitting around watching TV, playing a video game or messing around on a computer, then they’re about average.

Reports based on the CDC’s 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study, which surveyed over 11,000 teens, confirm what many have long suspected.

America’s teens, similar to its adults, are getting too little exercise combined with poor dietary habits such as high consumption of sugar sweetened drinks. Although national standards recommend 1 hour of aerobic exercise daily and 3 hours of strength-building exercise a week, less that 12% of teens met those goals. 65% of boys and 37% of girls met the strength-building goal to reach an overall 51%.

Numbers were even lower when it came to aerobic exercise with only 22% of boys and 8% of girls reaching the target. Combined with close to 25% of teens consuming at least one sugared drink per day, researchers are concerned about the rise in dietary related conditions such as diabetes and obesity that were once regarded as belonging to the world of adults.

Along with recommending healthier choices for drinks, such as more water and milk, researchers ask that communities provide a more exercise-friendly environment by the construction of sidewalks to promote walking.

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