*The following is excerpted from an online article from HealthCanal.
According to new research led by the University of Sydney, childhood inactivity can have an impact on a teen's weight and increases the risk for chronic disease from as early as fifteen years of age.
The landmark study followed more than 4,600 children for four years and found that those who were more active in late childhood were healthier teens, with lower body fat and reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
"Our study provides clear evidence that the negative effects of inactivity in childhood are evident well before adulthood," said lead researcher Associate Professor Stamatakis from the University's Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Health Sciences.
"We found that by age 15 more active children showed consistently better health outcomes.
"For example, an increase of 60 minutes of daily activity in childhood was linked to two percent less body fat.
"If inactivity patterns persist into adulthood, which is very likely, we expect an increased risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity."
Associate Professor Stamatakis believes parents cannot carry sole responsibility for providing opportunities for children to get active.
"With technology today meaning excessive sitting and screen time, we urgently need a serious long-term health policy which promotes strategies in schools and communities to give young people more opportunities for walking, cycling, play, and sports on a daily basis," he said.
The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, is the longest running study to objectively measure children's physical activity and sedentary behavior against a comprehensive range of health measures relating to heart health, obesity, and diabetes.