Focusing on physical activity has no effect on treating childhood overweight and obesity, according to a new meta-analysis.
Not only is exercise not very helpful in controlling weight in the first place. It also turns out that overweight kids don’t really increase their physical activity in studies that try to get them to do so:
Obesity Review: Effectiveness of Interventions on Physical Activity in Overweight or Obese Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Including Studies with Objectively Measured Outcomes.
This means a double failure for the simplistic “let’s move” mentality.
Once again: you can’t outrun a bad diet. And kids, it seems, can’t even be forced to run in the first place (if anyone really thought that was a good idea).
Please note that I’m not advocating for sedentary lifestyles. I’m just pointing out that the ‘eat less, run more’ dogma is outdated. Physical activity is important for health, but has a negligible effect on weight.
There’s likely only one way to massively improve the childhood obesity problem. Make sure that kids get to grow up in a healthy food environment, without added sugars in everything.