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Obesity in Kids is Bigger Than Ever

Obesity in Kids is Bigger Than Ever While Fitness Plummets

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Obesity in kids has been reaching record levels as physical inactivity soars.  As a result, medical experts are warning that today’s children will experience even poorer health effects as global temperatures rise than they would if they were maintaining healthier body weights. 

Obesity in Kids Could Increase the Impact They Feel from a Warming World

Dr. Shawnda Morrison recently conducted a comprehensive review of current studies on obesity in kids including their activity levels and the health effects they risk from rising global temperatures.  Morrison’s paper was published in the Temperature peer-reviewed journal. An environmental exercise physiologist, Morrison has argued that while physical fitness is central to being able to tolerate higher environmental temperatures, the fact that kids are more obese and less fit than has ever been the case is placing them at a higher risk in a warming world.

The paper cautioned that if obesity in kids continues at this level – or worsens – then children will face a higher risk of suffering health problems related to heat, such as heat cramping, dehydration, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke.

Climate Change Policies Aren’t Addressing Child Health Needs

According to Morrison’s paper, current policies regarding climate change are not properly addressing the health needs of kids, nor are they adequately encouraging those kids to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives, which should be a priority if they are to be best able to cope with a hotter planet.

Dr Morrison is an expert in adaptive and integrative human psychology in extreme environments from the Faculty of Sport at the University of Ljublijana in Slovenia. She has more than 20 years of experience in her field, conducting investigations into sport performance and exercise physiology, particularly in hot regions.

The assessments Morrison conducted are based on a comprehensive review made on over 150 scientific and medical studies examining pediatric exercise and physical activity while comping with heat and what impact that will have as temperatures worldwide continue to climb.

From within that research, she pointed specifically to a study of 457 primary school boys between the ages of 5 to 2 years old.  That study was conducted in Thailand and found that kids who were overweight faced a likelihood twice as high as kids in the normal weight zone when it came to challenges regulating body temperature while exercising outside.

This research helped to specifically illustrate the point she was trying to make regarding obesity in kids who are growing up in a warming world.

To further her point, she also highlighted a study from the United States which involved emergency room data. It found that attendance was higher on hotter days at children’s hospitals.