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 Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>