Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Weight

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How many steps should your child take each day to get fit?

ANSWER

While many adults aim for 10,000 per day, a kid’s target should be higher. One study found that for kids ages 6 to 12, a healthy goal was 12,000 steps a day for girls and 15,000 for boys.

That might seem like a lot, but kids naturally move more than adults. A child's stride is much shorter, so they won't walk as far as you will.

Start slowly, and make it fun! Team up for a game of soccer in the backyard or take a family hike.

SOURCES:

Lawrence Cheskin, MD, associate professor, Johns Hopkins Medical School; director, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Baltimore.

William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, director, division of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

Karen Donato, SM, coordinator, overweight and obesity research applications, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 

Greg Freitag, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Baltimore.

Dan Kirschenbaum, PhD, vice president, clinical services, Wellspring - a Division of CRC Health; director, Center for Behavioral Medicine & Sport Psychology, Chicago; professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Ann O. Scheimann, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore.

Anderson, S. , March 2010; vol 125: pp 420-428. Pediatrics

Barlow, S. , 2007; vol 120: pp S164-S192. Pediatrics

Bronson, P. , Hachette, 2009. Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children

Hill, J. , Workman, 2004. The Step Diet Book

Rodearmel, S. , October 2007; vol 120: pp e869-e879.  American Academy of Pediatrics

National Sleep Foundation: “Teens and Sleep.”

Zeller, M. , 2007; vol. 15: pp. 126-136 Obesity

Garasky, S. , 2009; vol 4: pp 755-66. Social Science Research

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on March 11, 2018

SOURCES:

Lawrence Cheskin, MD, associate professor, Johns Hopkins Medical School; director, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Baltimore.

William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, director, division of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

Karen Donato, SM, coordinator, overweight and obesity research applications, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 

Greg Freitag, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, Baltimore.

Dan Kirschenbaum, PhD, vice president, clinical services, Wellspring - a Division of CRC Health; director, Center for Behavioral Medicine & Sport Psychology, Chicago; professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago.

Ann O. Scheimann, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore.

Anderson, S. , March 2010; vol 125: pp 420-428. Pediatrics

Barlow, S. , 2007; vol 120: pp S164-S192. Pediatrics

Bronson, P. , Hachette, 2009. Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children

Hill, J. , Workman, 2004. The Step Diet Book

Rodearmel, S. , October 2007; vol 120: pp e869-e879.  American Academy of Pediatrics

National Sleep Foundation: “Teens and Sleep.”

Zeller, M. , 2007; vol. 15: pp. 126-136 Obesity

Garasky, S. , 2009; vol 4: pp 755-66. Social Science Research

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on March 11, 2018

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What kinds of snacks can help your child stay at a healthy weight?

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