“Well, the problem is when you become obese as a child, you really set yourself up for the rest of your life,” said Dr. Dyan Hes, a pediatrician specializing in childhood obesity. “What I see in my practice is my kids are so sedentary and I’ll do anything to get them to move.”
Two years ago, Pennington researchers conducted their first game experiment with 41 overweight girls between the ages 14 and 18 years old. They found that participants increased bone density, lost body fat and improved their self-confidence.
“One thing that’s the most important thing is self-esteem, so I think the fact that they completed it and felt good about themselves, I think that’s probably the best benefit of all,” Dr. Hes said.
In this second study – funded by the American Heart Association – participants will play at home, but check in with coaches every week.
“I’d love to change how children view physical activity or healthy diets. Working out shouldn’t be a burden or a challenge for people. It should just be part of people’s daily lives,” Staiano said.
For Jerry, that just means more dancing.
“It’s really helping me because I’m starting to lose weight and I’m also having fun with losing weight,” Jerry said.
After this current study is over, researchers are going to check back in with the kids six months later to see if they keep dancing and keep losing weight.
Read more at: cbsnews.com