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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Clumsy young in obesity risk

13th August 2008

UK researchers have found that "clumsy and poorly co-ordinated" children may have a higher danger of becoming obese as they get older.


The research, published in the British Medical Journal, showed young people who did less well on tests measuring their "cognitive and physical" ability had more likelihood of weighing too much when they reached 33.

The study involved tests carried out on 11,000 people in the UK, as part of the National Child Development Study of Great Britain. This study started in 1958.

The research was undertaken jointly by Imperial College London and Sweden's Orebro University Hospital.

Pupils underwent assessment where they were tested at the ages of seven and eleven to determine how adept they were in using their hands, and how coordinated and clumsy they were.

The tests included the participants ability to mark squares on a paper within a certain time limit and how long it took for them to gather 20 matches.

The body mass index of the participants was measured when they were 33. There was a correspondence between a poor score on the ability tests and obesity.

The danger of a participant being obese was shown to double in seven year old children.

Dr Ian Campbell, medical director at Weight Concern, said that children who had poor coordination might not take as much exercise as a result, but stated that the problem was complicated and there could be additional causes.

"While this helps us understand the root causes, it doesn't change the fundamental problem that we are, as a nation, less active than we should be," he said.

"All children, regardless of their natural abilities, should be given adequate encouragement and support to be physically active at school and at home."


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