Clumsiness and Obesity Intertwined

Children with poor coordination could be at higher risk of obesity later in life. The research published in the British Medical Journal found that youngsters who performed least well in tests assessing cognitive and physical function were far more likely to be obese by age 33. Researchers examined test results from the on-going National Child Development Study involving more than 11,000 people since 1958.

Teachers and medical officers assessed pupils aged seven and eleven for their hand control, coordination, and clumsiness. When the participants were 33 years of age, their body mass index was recorded. Closer analysis found poorer motor was associated with obesity. For seven year olds, poor coordination meant the risk of obesity was twice as high.

Dr. Ian Campbell, medical director of Weight Concern, believes poorly coordinated children may be less active, but there obesity is complex and there are likely to be other underlying problems. He claims, "While this helps us understand the root causes, it doesn't change the fundamental problem that we are, as a nation, less active that we should be. All children, regardless of their natural abilities, should be given adequate encouragement and support to be physically active at school and at home."


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