London: According to a study, child fitness levels are declining at an even faster rate than previously thought, and this time there is no evidence that it has anything to do with obesity.
The study follows a 2009 study that found that child fitness had decreased by 8% over the previous ten years.
Researchers have now discovered an even greater decline in fitness in school-aged children.
They found that the children they tested were thinner than those measured in 2008.
‘Our findings show that there is no obesity crisis in the schools we visited, as less than 5% of students were obese, and the average BMI is now lower than it was in 1998.’
This would be good news if BMI were the only thing we measured, but our fitness tests tell a different storey,’ said lead researcher Gavin Sandercock of the University of Essex.
Over 300 students aged 10 and 11 who participated in the study were studied by the team.
They anticipated that children with lower BMIs would outperform the heavier children they measured six years ago.
‘However, despite having a lower average BMI in the children measured in 2014 than in 2008, we discovered that the children could not run as fast, indicating that they had even lower cardiorespiratory fitness.’
‘Our study has shown that continuing to rely on BMI as a stand-alone measurement of child health does not tell us enough about health,’ he said.
‘Lower BMI values could be due to children eating less or more, or it could be that one group is taller than the other.’