Strength-based exercises may help kids fight obesity

Washington: Motivating children to do strength-based exercises like squats, pushups, and lunges could play a key role in tackling obesity.

As per a new study, taking part in exercises that cause muscles to contract, and strengthen muscles and bones, reduce children’s body fat percentage.

The findings also suggest an increase in muscle mass gained from strength-based exercises could help boost children’s metabolism and energy levels. The effects were small but meaningful, prompting calls for further research to investigate how resistance training could treat and prevent the growing issue of child obesity.

Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee examined the findings from a number of studies that explored the effects of resistance training on body weight for children aged nine to 18 years.

They found that resistance training decreased body fat, but had no overall effect on other measures, including lean muscle mass, body mass index, and waist circumference. This is the most extensive review so far of resistance training’s impact on young people.

A Ph.D. student, Helen Collins said that the results show the positive effect resistance training can have on maintaining a healthy weight and reducing body fat for young people.

“Treatment, and more importantly, prevention, of child/ childhood obesity is a growing concern. Our findings highlight the need for more robust research into the role strength-based exercises can play in helping everyone make healthy life choices and be more physically active,” she added.

The full findings are present in the journal- Sports Medicine.