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Weight Gain Increases Among Some Schoolchildren During Summer Months — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 13, 2014

Weight Gain Increases Among Some Schoolchildren During Summer Months

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Summertime may mean accelerated weight gain for some schoolchildren, according to a meta-analysis in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Researchers examined seven studies among roughly 10,000 children aged 5 to 12 years. The two nationally representative U.S. studies found faster weight gain during the summer months than during the school year; one of these studies found the effect amplified among black and Hispanic children. In addition, six of the seven studies showed evidence of accelerated weight gain in the summer among children who were already overweight or obese.

The authors offer "purely speculative" reasons for faster summer weight gain: "decreased physical activity, increased sedentary behaviors, increased access to unhealthy snacks, unstructured schedules and boredom, less self-monitoring, irregular sleep patterns, and less access to healthier meals through school breakfast and lunch during the summer relative to the school year."

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