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Policies for promotion of physical activity and prevention of obesity in adolescence

Abstract

AbstractObesity rates among children and adolescents in developed countries have increased dramatically since the 1970s. During that same period, numerous secular changes have combined to reduce the demand for physical activity in day-to-day life, and many barriers to physical activity are now evident. As a consequence, most children and adolescents do not meet the accepted public health guidelines for physical activity. Accordingly, public health interventions are needed to increase physical activity in adolescence. Such interventions, if successfully implemented, can be expected to improve fitness and health as well as reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity in young people. Promotion of physical activity in populations of children and adolescents will require comprehensive strategic planning and adoption of new policies in multiple societal sectors. This paper highlights nine initiatives that can address the problem of physical activity in children. The initiatives are to: establish comprehensive school physical activity programming; demand high quality physical education; require physical activity in early child care and education; require physical activity in afterschool programs; create equity in community resources; activate youth sports programs; re-normalize active transport to school; institutionalize clinic-based physical activity assessment and counseling; and build activity-friendly homes. A case will be made for comprehensive national and international strategic planning aimed at effective and large-scale implementation of these initiatives and tactics

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Last time updated on 05/05/2017

This paper was published in Elsevier - Publisher Connector .

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