Reported vigorous physical activity alone does not appear to decrease obesity in children or adolescents (in fact VPA may be associated with a higher BMI). Overweight/obesity is multifactorial in origin and changes in other variables in conjunction with VPA is required to manage the increased BMI seen in children and adolescents.
Childhood obesity has steadily increased since the 1980s, and it is estimated that 170 million children (under the age of 18 years) worldwide are overweight. Obese children tend to become obese adults which results in an increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, stroke and several cancers.
Data from a multicenter, multi-country, multi-phase, cross-sectional self-reporting questionnaire study (from parents and adolescents) on height, weight and reported VPA of 214,706 children (ages 6-7 years) and 362,091 adolescents (13-14 years of age) was utilized to examine the relationship between calculated BMI and VPA.