Children Gain Weight Faster Over Summer Break Than In School

Despite the lure of Halloween candy and Christmas treats, elementary school children actually gain weight faster over the summer, a study finds.

If you remember your childhood summers as filled with running around outside and doing cannonballs off the diving board, that may sound improbable. But a study published in Obesity on Wednesday is only the most recent research to show that the summer vacation is the danger zone for childhood obesity, suggesting that interventions need to move beyond what goes on during the school day.

The latest study looked at a nationally representative sample of 18,170 kids and tracked the changes in their body mass index, or BMI, from the start of kindergarten in 2010 through the end of second grade. Researchers found that over that period, the prevalence of obesity increased from 8.9 percent to 11.5 percent, and the prevalence of overweight increased from 23.3 percent to 28.7 percent.

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