The Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland conducted a physical activity and nutrition study in children, called PANIC.
The study was published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and examined the effect of low levels of physical activity combined with heavy use of electronic media and sedentary behavior in children aged 6-8.
The research participants consisted of 512 children aged 6-8 who participated from 2007-2009 and examined children’s physical activity and sedentary behavior, nutrition, physical condition, body composition, metabolism, vascular system, brain function, oral health, life quality, effects of exercise and nutrition on children’s health and well-being, and their effects on health care costs.
The findings reflected that heavy use of electronic media and low levels of physical activity are linked to an increased risk factor for type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases in children as the nutrition of the affected children consisted of an unhealthy diet and an irregular diet.
The study authors point out that the prevention of type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases begins at an early age and that risk factors contributing to these health conditions can be changed in childhood. The researchers recommend regular exercise and avoiding the excessive use of electronic media which constitutes an efficient means of preventing type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases.
Juuso Väistö, Aino-Maija Eloranta, Anna Viitasalo, Tuomo Tompuri, Niina Lintu, Panu Karjalainen, Eeva-Kaarina Lampinen, Jyrki Ågren, David E Laaksonen, Hanna-Maaria Lakka, Virpi Lindi, Timo A Lakka. Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in relation to cardiometabolic risk in children: cross-sectional findings from the Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children (PANIC) Study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2014; 11 (1): 55 DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-11-55