Most children are still failing to eat five pieces of fruit and veg a day, though their levels of physical activity do meet current Government recommendations, according to the SPEEDY study (Sport, Physical activity and Eating behaviour: Environmental Determinants in Young people). The original results for the study are published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

The study was performed by a team of researchers from The Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit and The University of East Anglia, coordinated by Esther van Sluijs. During the Summer term 2007, they studied the diet, physical activity and body shape of 2064 Year 5 pupils (aged 9-10 years) in 92 schools across the county of Norfolk. They also investigated their socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and school and home neighborhood environments. According to van Sluijs, "To date, the extent of the problem of physical inactivity and unhealthy dietary habits in children has been largely unknown. Good data about physical activity, assessed using valid and reliable measures in large samples, are scarce - especially in children".


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