If half of U.S. children 8 to 11 years old got the recommended amount of physical activity, the proportion of children who are overweight or obese would decrease by 4 percent, according to new research funded partially by AHRQ. This would save $8 billion in annual medical costs associated with obesity-related conditions, researchers concluded. Having this same 50 percent of kids receive the recommended amount of exercise would also avert approximately $14 billion in annual lost productivity costs over their lifetimes, researchers concluded. The article in the May issue of Health Affairs estimated that only 32 percent of children currently get recommended amount of exercise, which consists of 25 minutes of high-calorie-burning physical activity three times a week. The study authors concluded that increasing children’s physical activity should be a higher national priority, in part because possible savings substantially outweigh the costs of interventions promoting increased physical activity. Access the abstract.
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