Could your kid be packing on the pounds this summer?
As you probably know, school districts across the country have been banning sugary drinks and fatty lunch foods in order to help curb childhood obesity.
But a new study suggests that SUMMER is the time when kids are more likely to gain weight.
NBC News is reporting on researcher done by the Harvard School of Public Health. It showed that many kids gain weight during the summer, particularly black and Hispanic kids and children and teens who are already overweight.
Rebecca Franckle, a Harvard doctoral student who led the study, says “It’s especially those kids who are already at risk who are the most at risk during the summer.”
About a third of children and teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, and piling on extra weight at a young age can lead to serious health problems later in life.
The researchers aren’t certain what is behind the summer weight gain, but they suspect that it’s less structure, extra snacks, boredom and more time spent in front of a screen.
More research is needed to determine the best ways to curb weight gain over the summer, but Rebecca Franckle at Harvard suggests that parents worried about extra pounds should look to the school year for suggestions.
She says engaging kids in sports or camp programs is a good idea. She and her colleagues also believe that expanding access to summer food programs for low-income children may help.
For more suggestions on keeping your kids healthy this summer—and all year long–go to healthychildren.org.
I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.
Listen to today’s audio here.