Teenagers who take part in physical education at school are more likely to maintain a normal weight as young adults, research shows.
A study of 3,345 teenagers from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that each day of sports at school lowered the odds of becoming an overweight adult by 5%.
Taking part in five days of physical education lowered the odds of becoming an overweight adult by 28%.
Study author Robert Blum said: “These findings underscore the important role that school-based and extracurricular physical activities play in reducing the likelihood of becoming an overweight adult.
"While physical education was not a good weight-loss mechanism over time, it appears to have a positive impact in helping teenagers maintain a healthy weight into young adulthood.”
Blum concludes that school-based physical education could be a low-cost strategy and a long-lasting solution to adult obesity.
The study was published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
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