Starting School Early May Keep Girls Thin12/15/10
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Starting school at a
younger age may reduce girls' risk of becoming obese years later, a
new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 6,000 girls in the U.S.
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
Girls who were eligible to start school at a younger age than
most of their classmates were significantly less likely to be
overweight during adolescence. Girls who started school at an older
age than most of their classmates were more likely to be overweight
in adolescence, the investigators found.
A similar effect was not found in boys, said lead author Ning
Zhang, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and
The study was published online Dec. 14 in the
Journal of Adolescent Health.
Peer influence may be one reason why girls who start school at a
younger age are less likely to be overweight, the authors
"Within any grade, younger girls may be exposed to relatively older friends, who are more careful about their weight and physical appearance," Zhang said in a journal news release.
In addition, girls who are young for their grade have earlier
exposure to more detailed and sophisticated health and diet
information at school and have the opportunity to participate in
more advanced physical activity instruction as well.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines how
parents can help their children maintain a
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