Health

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Girls Exercise Less as They Grow Older

May 01, 2008 01:14 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Teenage girls are less active than their male counterparts, which can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity and poor eating habits.

30-Second Summary

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Although young girls are participating in organized sports in record numbers, the percentage who remain physically active through their teenage years is declining, laments CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Seventy percent of freshman girls enroll in high school physical education class, yet by senior year only 30 percent are still taking gym, says Gupta.

Another study, of data collected by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, showed that girls with a higher body mass index reported less physical activity according to USA Today.

A sedentary lifestyle is one factor in obesity, a condition that can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other problems. Younger people, including children, are developing these lifelong problems in greater numbers than they have historically, health experts say.

Though more exercise could help teen girls avoid these problems, too much of it can cause others. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston found that too much exercise can lead to stress fractures in their bones.

Other studies suggest than teen girls are controlling their weight through unhealthy habits instead. A 2006 study by the University of Minnesota’s Project Eating Among Teens showed 14 percent of high school age girls use diet pills, a rate that doubled since 2001.

Headline Links: “Keeping Our Daughters Active”

Related Topics: Use of diet pills more common; compulsive exercise

Reference: Children’s Fitness, Obesity Web Guides

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