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Children's Poll
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Physical Activity Facts for Kids

  • 16 percent of children and teens aged 6 to 19 were overweight in 1999-2002, triple the proportion in 1980. Fifteen-percent of children in the same age group are considered at-risk for overweight. The percentage of overweight African American, Hispanic, and Native American children is about 20%.
  • More than 10 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight, double the proportion since 1980.
  • Type 2 diabetes, once called "adult onset" diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, once thought to be age-related, are now diagnosed in children and teens.
  • Physical activity among children and adolescents is important because of the related health benefits (cardio-respiratory function, blood pressure control, weight management, cognitive and emotional benefits).
  • One quarter of U.S. children spend 4 hours or more watching television daily.
  • Young people are at particular risk for becoming sedentary as they grow older. Encouraging moderate and vigorous physical activity among youth is important. Because children spend most of their time in school, the type and amount of physical activity encouraged in schools is important.
  • Adults 18 and older need 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to be healthy; children and teens need 60 minutes of activity a day for their health.

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