Children Gain Weight in the Summer

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Professionals MN Broker #40288835


schools outThe Nation's schools which have been often criticized for unhealthy school lunches, well-stocked vending machines and cuts in their physical education programs - may actually do a better job than parents in keeping children fit and trim.

A study found that 5-6 year olds gained more weight over the summer that during the school year, casting doubt on the assumption that kids are generally more active during their summer vacations time.  Researchers speculate the extra pounds during the summer months come from the lack of the structure of the school year with all its activities and daily comings and goings,

This is particularly interesting to me as a former Physical Education and Health Teacher and long time Public Health Educator.  It should be of even more concern to those who have children home during the summer.

The study co-author says that for many youngsters the lazy days of summer are just that - lazy.  There is more time to eat snacks and lounge about watching TV or playing video games.  The study points to the need for parents to be more involved and to set good examples .

Researchers found the body-mass indexes of 5,380 kindergartners and first-graders on average increased more that twice as much during summer break compared with the school year.  Once kids were back in school, however, the monthly growth rate of their Body Mass Index fell. 

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Comments (8)

Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
McDonalds, Wendys, Taco Bell, Roy Rogers, KFC, 7-11.
Jul 14, 2007 02:25 PM
Springfield, MA
Well if there were More kids interested in playing sports or going to the park to play than to hang out all day of the X-Box, then I am sure that would make a difference,
Jul 14, 2007 02:55 PM
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate


I agree parents need to be more active in getting their kids outdoors & eating healthy.


Jul 15, 2007 10:14 AM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
Lenn, Maureen, & Susanne -  Bad fast  food  choices & inactivity are big factors in weight gain no matter what one's age. Fast food restaurants are now beginning to offer healthier choices as are the schools.  We as the adults need to set the pace for the kids and set up a regular work out program for everyone together.  A bike ride, orienteering at a jog,  racquetball - what ever keeps one going and their target heart rate up.
Jul 15, 2007 12:51 PM
Ashley Drake Gephart
Drake Intel Group - Albuquerque, NM
Kathleen I know for my family we tend to slow down due to the heat. I homeschool so it's not an in school or out of school factor. I realized how bad this year was because of two a/c units malfunctioning in a short period of time. But one got working last week and the other last night. We are now moving and grooving just in doors. Dancing is a fun one. Interesting statistics.
Jul 24, 2007 06:02 PM
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Ashley- I understand how the heat just wipes you out - here in MN we have hot summers sometimes 100 degrees and it is not a dry heat. Guess we can't blame the school in your case , you are the school.

Dancing is a great exercise for anyone done right and music always helps.  Dance on! 

Jul 25, 2007 02:47 AM
Sally Smith Smith
Lost AR member - Amboy, MN
In my opinion, the breaks are WAY too long that the schools have.  Everyone needs a break including the kids, but after a period of time the kids do get bored and start complaining over the summer.  Seems like everywhere I take my daughter someone wants to show her a video or watch T.V.  I have told my babysitters I would like for them to take her to the park, library, read to her, etc.....but this is hard to do unless you stick with it.  Other ideas are enrolling the children in various camps and enrichment programs.  Unfortunately, this is not available to everyone due to the cost constraints, but I truly believe in unplugging the T.V., going on playdates, etc.... to keep them from a lazy lifestyle.  Making sure your children are not lazy is a true commitment, but a worthwhile one.
Jul 25, 2007 08:42 AM
Aziz Abdur-Raoof
RE/MAX Rewards - Columbia, MD
Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop


You have made some good points -- I think the key to what you're stating is structure.  I tend to encourage my children to start preparing for the start of school now so that they can get back into the routine.  They stay active by playing sports and I do try and workout with them at the gym. 

I have been watching The Shaq challenge on ABC -- its been interesting and entertaining.  

Jul 25, 2007 09:58 AM