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Saint Peters, MO 63376-6414

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Nutrition Stop

Cut Kid's Heart Risks with Exercise

By getting kids to exercise just a little, you can cut their heart disease risk by a lot, according to a study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Scientists found that by simply adding about 12 to 20 minutes of exercise a day, they lowered children's body fat and dropped their blood pressure within two months.  The researchers found that when kids attended physical education classes at school, they often only spent about 6 to 10 minutes vigorously exercising, far too little to help their health.  "Having children participate in vigorous exercise programs while simultaneously learning about the benefits of proper nutrition and exercise reduces their chances of ultimately developing Type II diabetes and other health problems associated with inactivity and being overweight," says Dr. Robert G. McMurray, PhD, Professor of exercise and sport science.  "As a group, active children of normal weight will live significantly longer, healthier and more satisfying lives.  As a nation, we need to emphasize this much more since right now, we're doing an increasingly bad job of it."  In the study, Dr. McMurray and his colleagues studied 1,100 fourteen year olds.  "With the blood pressure testing, we found drops in both systolic and diastolic pressures of 4 mm of mercury in the children who did more exercise and also learned about food nutrition," says Dr. McMurray.