Sport plays vital role in tackling childhood obesity

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It is widely accepted that childhood obesity is becoming an increasingly serious issue across the globe and one that has serious consequences for our health levels now and well into the future. The increased reliance on convenience food and snacks with high sugar levels is contributing to the problem. This high-energy dense food consumption combined with the fact that there is less opportunity to spend energy due to our motorized transport habits and less opportunity for active play-time results in higher rates of obesity.

It is clearly one of the big health challenges facing the modern world and is undoubtedly something that has to be tackled in the immediate future. Among the approaches being recommended to deal with the problem are, better example from parents, proper nutrition and more active play-time.  However, as is often the case, it could be that one of the best solutions may in fact be the most obvious, with exercise being highlighted as one of the key areas that can battle childhood obesity. Studies have found that not only is exercise a huge factor in dealing with childhood obesity, but the success rate soars when that exercise comes in the form of organized sport and with a variety of disciplines.

Related Health Issues

In order to deal with the topic we must understand the terminology involved and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention  tells us that ‘overweight’ refers to having excess body weight for a particular height. Meanwhile ‘obesity’ is defined as having excess body fat.

Body mass index (BMI) is generally used to determine fatness based on growth charts developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The scale problem becomes clear with the revelation by Fred Fornicola that nearly one third of children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 are either overweight or obese.

“It would be a gross understatement to say that childhood obesity has become a serious problem in America over the last several years. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated childhood obesity is the fastest growing health crisis in the United States. Over the past thirty years, the rate of obesity has more than tripled for children aged 6 to 11 and more than doubled for adolescents aged 12 to 19. It’s been approximated that more than 33% of youths aged 2 to 19 (that’s more than 25 million kids) are overweight or obese”

revealed Fred Fornicola in the article 5 Ways You Can Prevent Childhood Obesity.

Related Health Problems

As a result of being overweight, the physical and psychological health of a young person is affected, and it is now accepted that childhood obesity is resulting in health issues that were previously only prevalent in adults.  There is an increased chance of developing conditions such as asthma, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol as a result of childhood obesity.

In addition, kids who are overweight/obese have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, and a tendency to withdraw from others. They experience increased loneliness, sadness, nervousness, and depression.

Play More Sport

In light of such findings, it is clearly of immense importance that this issue is dealt with at an early age and the study by Keith M. Drake, of the Hood Center for Children and Families at Dartmouth in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues in Pediatrics indicates that one of the best ways forward is to encourage children to take part in more organized sports.

Put simply, the study tells us that teens who play on three or more sports teams are up to 39% less likely to be obese.

“Adolescents who played on three sports teams or more in the last year were 27% less likely to be overweight/obese and 39% less likely to be obese compared with adolescents who did not play on any sports teams” 

write the researchers (Team sports seen as key factor in preventing childhood obesity).

A similar study by the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Canada examined the relation among children’s physical activity, and provided evidence supporting the link between physical inactivity and obesity of Canadian children.

From analyzing the results of these studies, the researches estimate that obesity rates among teenagers would drop by 26 per cent if they all played on at least two sports teams each year.  They say participation in high school sports reduces the risk of childhood obesity because it involves regular practices and competitions that require moderate to strenuous activity levels.

Preventing Future Problems

Such studies provide strong evidence to suggest that young people must be encouraged to take up team sports and as Keith M Drake points out:

“Team sport participation had the strongest and most consistent inverse association with weight status. Obesity prevention programs should consider strategies to increase team sport participation among all students.” 

A large part of the responsibility for encouraging increased levels of activities lies with parents and the school system to ensure that childhood obesity is tackled.  The vast majority of overweight kids ultimately become overweight or obese adults, putting increased pressure on the health system.  Of course, the problem may never be totally eradicated but it is essential that a concentrated effort is made to control this growing problem.

References
www.stopsportsinjuries.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=_wXJqn-WA60%3D&tabid=295
http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v27/n9/abs/0802376a.html
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1832542
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/20120716/playing-multiple-sports-helps-beat-teen-obesity
http://breakingmuscle.com/family-kids/5-ways-you-can-help-prevent-childhood-obesity
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/team-sports-key-factor-preventing-childhood-obesity-article-1.1117065

About Metrifit

Metrifit is an athlete monitoring system that gathers subjective and objective information from both coaches and athletes in a simple but effective manner with intelligent visualization helping coaches and athletes to act on that data. Why not have a look at our Ready to Perform product and gain insight on the physical and mental state of your athletes through our daily wellbeing questionnaire? To find out more visit our Metrifit Product Overview page or get in touch for a free demo.

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Jason McGahan

Sports Scientist, Kildare Football, PhD Sports Science Researcher

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2017-06-12T14:23:50+01:00

Jason McGahan

Sports Scientist, Kildare Football, PhD Sports Science Researcher

"Gaelic football is an intermittent high-intensity collision-based field sport requiring high levels of endurance, strength, power, agility, and speed as well as proficiency with gaelic-related skills. These components comprise the training modalities used at the elite level and the monitoring of such a vast range of modalities is central to peak performance. The athlete monitoring tool Metrifit allows us to do this and can keep us one step ahead of our competitors."
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Cian O’Neill

Kildare Senior Football Manager

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2017-06-14T13:24:03+01:00

Cian O’Neill

Kildare Senior Football Manager

"The cutting edge technology of Metrifit enables Managers, Coaches and Players to use this innovative technology to gain these crucial percentage points over their opponents in a technologically advanced yet easy to use web-based platform. The data collated on a daily basis greatly informs Management Teams while the educational aspect of the system really appeals to modern day athletes who are constantly looking for that extra edge."
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Richard Deuchrass

Lincoln University Athletic Performance Manager

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2017-06-12T13:58:58+01:00

Richard Deuchrass

Lincoln University Athletic Performance Manager

"Metrifit has been used to gain a more in-depth insight into our student-athlete’s progressive athletic development and balance relative to their particular sporting and training activities, academic studies and total load. Metrifit doesn’t just help with optimising our Sports Scholarship students’ athletic performance. It assists us in helping them get the balance right between their sporting activities and academic studies."
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J.B. Belzer
Head Coach, Women's Soccer at Regis University

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2018-09-13T13:47:09+01:00

J.B. Belzer
Head Coach, Women's Soccer at Regis University

"I wanted to reach out to thank Metrifit for an extremely successful season. Our Regis University women’s side won the ultra-competitive RMAC with a 11-0-1 record. Our student-athletes reported in post-season interviews the positive use of Metrifit that enabled their own reflection about their bodies and also found value providing information to coaches for our strategic planning purposes. On more than one occasion, we recognized deviations from norms and were able to step-in with a quick chat to help a player get back on track or refer her to the proper support personnel for further assistance. Fantastic! "
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Dave Passmore

Head Coach, Irish Hockey

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2017-06-15T12:51:46+01:00

Dave Passmore

Head Coach, Irish Hockey

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Tino Fusco, B.Sc. ChPC

Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Mount Royal University (Canada)

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2017-06-12T14:25:37+01:00

Tino Fusco, B.Sc. ChPC

Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Mount Royal University (Canada)

"The holistic approach of medical, physical, emotional and even tech/tactical; bringing together what we need to monitor and evaluate our University players. “If you can’t measure it – it doesn’t exist.” I know we were the first Canadian University to use the program and I know many more will be asking for it in the future! I highly recommend Metrifit."
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Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Kerry Senior Football, Manager

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2017-06-12T14:01:46+01:00

Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Kerry Senior Football, Manager

"Metrifit has been hugely beneficial in supporting our coaches and back room staff to track and monitor our players training loads, performance and readiness to train. Having a one-stop shop for collating all relevant information across a holistic picture of the player allows us to help prevent burnout, injury and provide timely feedback and communication to all."
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Tommy Mooney

Strength and Conditioning Coach at DCU Sport and with Dublin Minor GAA

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2017-06-14T13:31:14+01:00

Tommy Mooney

Strength and Conditioning Coach at DCU Sport and with Dublin Minor GAA

"I've found Metrifit an invaluable resource. Not only to monitor daily wellness, readiness to train and training load within the squad, but also to monitor training load externally with additional external squads. Furthermore, Metrifit has acted as a key teaching tool, allowing young athletes associate good sleeping, eating and recovery habits to an improved sense of wellness and thus superior on-field performance."
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Robert Walsh
Strength Coach
Nederlandse Ski Vereniging (Netherlands Ski/Snowboard Team)
Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-07-25T14:10:08+01:00
Robert Walsh
Strength Coach
Nederlandse Ski Vereniging (Netherlands Ski/Snowboard Team)
"The visualisation of data allows for easy discussion between athletes, performance staff and medical teams and offers the potential to predict and avoid issues which could hamper performance. Over the year the data has proven instrumental in our critical decision making. Metrifit is a excellent monitoring tool however the unsung additional aspect is the fantastic and tireless customer support."
"Metrifit is an amazingly easy-to-use yet comprehensive monitoring tool for training and recovery! The elite athletes we work with are able track and monitor their situations and states daily, in order to maximize their performance loads and recovery practices. This also helps our coaches customize the training programs ‎more effectively. I'd recommend this for any serious team / athlete or coach in wanting to bring out the very best in their long-term performances! "

Edgar K. Tham

Founder and Chief Sport & Performance Psychologist, SportPsych Consulting (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)

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2017-06-12T18:03:35+01:00

Edgar K. Tham

Founder and Chief Sport & Performance Psychologist, SportPsych Consulting (Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines)

"Metrifit is an amazingly easy-to-use yet comprehensive monitoring tool for training and recovery! The elite athletes we work with are able track and monitor their situations and states daily, in order to maximize their performance loads and recovery practices. This also helps our coaches customize the training programs ‎more effectively. I'd recommend this for any serious team / athlete or coach in wanting to bring out the very best in their long-term performances! "
"Metrifit has enabled us to bring to life the complexiities associated with managing the academic, pastoral and sporting demands of pupils aged 13 - 18 in a UK day and boarding school environment It has provided another bridge between coaches and sports pupis, giving pupils a space to provide honest self reflection on wellbeing and providing coaches a head start on appropriate freshness and fatigue balance across the school week."

Graham Williams

Athletic Development Coach, MSc ASCC
Millfield School, UK

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2017-06-19T14:14:37+01:00

Graham Williams

Athletic Development Coach, MSc ASCC
Millfield School, UK

"Metrifit has enabled us to bring to life the complexiities associated with managing the academic, pastoral and sporting demands of pupils aged 13 - 18 in a UK day and boarding school environment It has provided another bridge between coaches and sports pupis, giving pupils a space to provide honest self reflection on wellbeing and providing coaches a head start on appropriate freshness and fatigue balance across the school week."
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Michael Torres

CEO, Shift Performance, Miami

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2017-06-14T14:09:22+01:00

Michael Torres

CEO, Shift Performance, Miami

"What’s more impressive is the ability to utilize the basics but at the same time have the capability to explore detailed and intricate correlative data points that helps us as coaches gain the most from our athletes. Metrifit has also served as an easy communications hub to ensure essential information is passed to the appropriate team. We are excited to what the future from Metrifit will bring."
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Erik Helland

Director of Strength & Conditioning and Head Strength Coach Men’s basketball, University of Wisconsin

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2017-06-12T11:42:14+01:00

Erik Helland

Director of Strength & Conditioning and Head Strength Coach Men’s basketball, University of Wisconsin

"The ability to acutely monitor stress and recovery and make the correct adjustments was critical to our health and performance throughout the NCAA tournament. Metrifit has a very strong educational component. With the information we get, I am able to clearly understand the habits and behaviors of our athletes, and how they may be impacting performance."
“Metrifit has become a multifactorial platform that has helped up us provide deeper context to the decisions that we make on a daily basis in regards to the physical development of our student-athletes. We have intimately been utilizing both the subjective wellness questionnaire along with player training load data to drive professional conversation and actionable tasks to enhance the sporting results and quality of life for our student-athletes with unparalleled success.”

Kevin Schultz
Associate Director of Strength & Conditioning
Director of Olympic Strength & Conditioning
University of Wisconsin

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-20T12:12:33+01:00

Kevin Schultz
Associate Director of Strength & Conditioning
Director of Olympic Strength & Conditioning
University of Wisconsin

“Metrifit has become a multifactorial platform that has helped up us provide deeper context to the decisions that we make on a daily basis in regards to the physical development of our student-athletes. We have intimately been utilizing both the subjective wellness questionnaire along with player training load data to drive professional conversation and actionable tasks to enhance the sporting results and quality of life for our student-athletes with unparalleled success.”
"Metrifit has been instrumental in helping our international Managers, Coaches and Medical teams to identify players who require modifications in training loads or who are struggling with some aspect of their preparation for, or recovery from, training and matches.  One of the big strengths of this technology is that it allows our Managers and Medical teams to monitor players both during international competition and outside of these times."

Dan Horan

Head of Fitness for International Football/Fitness Coach Men's Senior Team
Football Association of Ireland

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2017-06-16T15:11:55+01:00

Dan Horan

Head of Fitness for International Football/Fitness Coach Men's Senior Team
Football Association of Ireland

"Metrifit has been instrumental in helping our international Managers, Coaches and Medical teams to identify players who require modifications in training loads or who are struggling with some aspect of their preparation for, or recovery from, training and matches.  One of the big strengths of this technology is that it allows our Managers and Medical teams to monitor players both during international competition and outside of these times."
"Metrifit is an integral part of the set up within the senior and intermediate inter-county Camogie.  The data collected daily on the individual players is critical to the decision making of the backroom team including, managers, trainers, selectors, physiotherapist and indeed myself. As a nutritionist it allows me to monitor the quality of the player’s diet, energy levels, sleep pattern and overall wellbeing."

Yvonne Treacy

Nutritionist, Wexford Camogie

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2017-06-13T16:38:55+01:00

Yvonne Treacy

Nutritionist, Wexford Camogie

"Metrifit is an integral part of the set up within the senior and intermediate inter-county Camogie.  The data collected daily on the individual players is critical to the decision making of the backroom team including, managers, trainers, selectors, physiotherapist and indeed myself. As a nutritionist it allows me to monitor the quality of the player’s diet, energy levels, sleep pattern and overall wellbeing."
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Robert Karlsson, Professional Golfer

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2019-03-04T20:48:39+01:00

Robert Karlsson, Professional Golfer

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"We have been using Metrifit for the past season at Cornish Pirates. It has been greatly beneficial for us to have our wellness and load management data on one easy to access system. We have found this invaluable over the past season whereby Coaches, Physios and Strength and conditioning coaches can monitor both the psychological and physiological load of our athletes on a daily basis."

Paul Cremin

Head Physiotherapist, Cornish Pirates Rugby Club

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2017-06-16T15:06:04+01:00

Paul Cremin

Head Physiotherapist, Cornish Pirates Rugby Club

"We have been using Metrifit for the past season at Cornish Pirates. It has been greatly beneficial for us to have our wellness and load management data on one easy to access system. We have found this invaluable over the past season whereby Coaches, Physios and Strength and conditioning coaches can monitor both the psychological and physiological load of our athletes on a daily basis."
"While working with the Clare Senior Hurling team (2012-2014), Horse Sport Ireland (U25 European Eventing Champions) and currently with the Limerick Senior Hurling Team, Metrifit provides our team with critical information across a number of essential aspects of elite athletic performance. You don’t really know how your players are responding to training stimuli unless you have daily data and Metrifit provides and easy to use and highly effective means of finding this critical information."

Joe O’Connor

NISUS Fitness, S&C Coach Clare Senior Hurling, Horse Sport Ireland and Limerick Senior Hurling

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-12T13:55:49+01:00

Joe O’Connor

NISUS Fitness, S&C Coach Clare Senior Hurling, Horse Sport Ireland and Limerick Senior Hurling

"While working with the Clare Senior Hurling team (2012-2014), Horse Sport Ireland (U25 European Eventing Champions) and currently with the Limerick Senior Hurling Team, Metrifit provides our team with critical information across a number of essential aspects of elite athletic performance. You don’t really know how your players are responding to training stimuli unless you have daily data and Metrifit provides and easy to use and highly effective means of finding this critical information."
"As a school that cannot spend large amounts of money on athlete monitoring, Metrifit has provided us with a great tool for monitoring stress and athlete readiness at a great rate. Being athlete driven, we're able to get buy-in from the athlete, and drive individual or team wide conversations regarding lifestyle and performance education in the direction needed. Seeing acute and chronic stress on a real-time basis has greatly improved the way we schedule workouts and arrange travel during the season."

Derek Bol
Strength & Conditioning Coach, Valparaiso University
Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-20T22:26:45+01:00
Derek Bol
Strength & Conditioning Coach, Valparaiso University
"As a school that cannot spend large amounts of money on athlete monitoring, Metrifit has provided us with a great tool for monitoring stress and athlete readiness at a great rate. Being athlete driven, we're able to get buy-in from the athlete, and drive individual or team wide conversations regarding lifestyle and performance education in the direction needed. Seeing acute and chronic stress on a real-time basis has greatly improved the way we schedule workouts and arrange travel during the season."
"The Metrifit RTP platform is an excellent tool to monitor, evaluate and make the right decisions for your athlete’s well being and performance. It enables coaches and athletes to track and sift through all the variables that underpin well being and performance on a day to day basis and to address an issue or potential issue in real time. A simply wonderful product."

Dr. Dale Richardson

CEO Achieve Total Performance Pty Ltd

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2019-03-04T21:38:45+01:00

Dr. Dale Richardson

CEO Achieve Total Performance Pty Ltd

"The Metrifit RTP platform is an excellent tool to monitor, evaluate and make the right decisions for your athlete’s well being and performance. It enables coaches and athletes to track and sift through all the variables that underpin well being and performance on a day to day basis and to address an issue or potential issue in real time. A simply wonderful product."
"Metrifit provides immediate insight and feedback on the physical and mental states of the student-athletes.  It allows us to adjust practices and training sessions to accurately meet needs. We have been able to identify potential injury concerns, track current injury status and monitor return to play progress."

Kari Thompson

Head Volley Ball Coach, Southern Illinois University

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2017-06-16T15:08:31+01:00

Kari Thompson

Head Volley Ball Coach, Southern Illinois University

"Metrifit provides immediate insight and feedback on the physical and mental states of the student-athletes.  It allows us to adjust practices and training sessions to accurately meet needs. We have been able to identify potential injury concerns, track current injury status and monitor return to play progress."
"Our coaches through Metrifit basically have an ‘X-ray’ vision into the habits and lifestyles and stressors their athletes have on a day to day basis, especially when they are not together. Thus the professional authentic relationships created through the casual conversations, reflection process and application provided is priceless."

Brian Clarke

Head Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator,Noblesville High School

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-12T14:21:17+01:00

Brian Clarke

Head Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator,Noblesville High School

"Our coaches through Metrifit basically have an ‘X-ray’ vision into the habits and lifestyles and stressors their athletes have on a day to day basis, especially when they are not together. Thus the professional authentic relationships created through the casual conversations, reflection process and application provided is priceless."
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Brijesh Patel

Quinnipiac University, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-12T17:58:50+01:00

Brijesh Patel

Quinnipiac University, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach

"Metrifit is an outstanding platform to track your athletes’ wellness. It’s simple to use, easy to implement and gives outstanding information on your athlete’s subjective wellness which can be used to assign training loads. I highly recommend Metrifit for any coach looking to begin implementing technology into their program"
"The success of young athletes using Metrifit was an interesting challenge in the Elite Soccer space… After six months of learning, creating habit with teenagers the project is a huge success…. 90% completion rate has allowed us deal with all the key KPI’s that are needed in their development. In our space with developing athletes…Metrifit is a godsend and is the most important tool in this space."

Niall O’Driscoll

Academy Directory, SJ.B (St. Joseph’s Bray ) Academy

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System
2017-06-16T16:51:01+01:00

Niall O’Driscoll

Academy Directory, SJ.B (St. Joseph’s Bray ) Academy

"The success of young athletes using Metrifit was an interesting challenge in the Elite Soccer space… After six months of learning, creating habit with teenagers the project is a huge success…. 90% completion rate has allowed us deal with all the key KPI’s that are needed in their development. In our space with developing athletes…Metrifit is a godsend and is the most important tool in this space."