Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study: Inadequate physical activity worsens as teenagers become adults

27.10.2004


While promoting physical activity and encouraging people to limit the time they spend watching television are important throughout life, those efforts are critical before adolescence, a new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill investigation concludes.



That’s because the physical activity picture worsens rather than improves as teens make the transition into young adulthood, UNC researchers found in the largest national study of changes in exercise patterns over time.

Especially needed are efforts to get Hispanic and black girls to become more active, those scientists say. "In a sample originally representing more than 20 million school-aged youth, we found that only 36 percent achieved five or more sessions of moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly," said Dr. Penny Gordon-Larsen, assistant professor of nutrition at the UNC schools of public health and medicine. "However, of those 36 percent, only a staggering 4.4 percent maintained this level of activity into adulthood.


"Also, across the teenage and adult years, close to half of the respondents spent more time watching TV or playing computer games than recommended."

A report on the research appears in the latest issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Besides Gordon-Larsen, who led the study, authors are nutrition graduate student Melissa C. Nelson, and Dr. Barry M. Popkin, professor of nutrition.

"Poor diet and physical inactivity are responsible for roughly 400,000 deaths in the United States each year and may soon become the leading causes of death for Americans," Gordon-Larsen said. "Previous studies at UNC and elsewhere have shown that all major racial and ethnic groups and both sexes get too little physical activity, and black and Hispanic girls face the greatest risk of being significantly overweight or obese and inactive."

In the new research, she and colleagues wanted to concentrate on possible changes in physical activity between adolescence and young adulthood since few scientists have studied what happened to activity levels over that part of the life cycle.

The work involved analyzing extensive data gathered from 13,030 teens in 1994-95 and again in 2001 through Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Begun at UNC, that larger Add Health project entailed extensive, confidential interviews with thousands of adolescents across the United States to learn their attitudes and behaviors related to family, school and religion, alcohol and drug use, sexual activity and other health-related subjects.

"Very few teens were active when young, and even fewer remained active into adulthood," Gordon-Larsen said. "We saw similar differences, although of less magnitude, for TV and video viewing and computer and video game use. Just under half of teens engaged in more than 14 hours of screen time per week. Of those who had the recommended 14 or fewer hours, 17 percent increased their screen time as adults."

Other findings, based on estimates, were that:

  • An average of more than 12 million adolescents did not achieve five or more sessions of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week.
  • That number approached an average of 16 million in Hispanic and black females.
  • About 6 million teens who achieved five or more sessions of significant physical activity per week failed to do so as adults.
  • Conversely, fewer than 1 million teens exercised enough and continued to do so as adults.
  • Blacks who were active as teens were more likely than whites or Hispanics to remain so into young adulthood.

"By the time individuals reach adolescence, most are already not engaging in enough physical activity and spend too much time sitting in front of video screens of one kind or another to meet national recommendations," Gordon-Larsen said. "Thus, interventions must begin before adolescence, and this is particularly true for Hispanic and black girls."

The National Institutes of Health supported the research. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development supported the Add Health study with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies.

David Williamson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>