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Preschoolers Need More Exercise

The battle to fight childhood obesity is getting more intense now that preschoolers are the next target for a fitter America. (Hopefully!)

A new study in the journal Pediatrics tracked 100 kids from 10 preschools for 50 days. The youngsters wore devices that tracked their amount of exercise—and the results were not good.

The study found that they were getting an average of 48 minutes of exercise a day, as reported in Time magazine. That falls short of being enough exercise, especially considering that the CDC recommends at least one hour of exercise for kids per day (with some pushing for two hours).

"It's just not enough," Pooja Tandon, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Washington, told USA Today.

MORE: Bad Parenting Habits Can Lead to Childhood Obesity

Getting plenty of exercise at a young age, Tandon said, is essential for a child's development and for preventing obesity, which has risen sharply over the past 30 years. According to the CDC, nearly 18 percent of children ages six to 11 are obese, compared to 7 percent in 1980. Twenty-one percent of adolescents are obese today compared with just 5 percent in 1980.

To get our youngest students more active, some health experts advocate combining academic activities in the classroom with exercise. What on Earth does that mean? Perhaps kids could form numbers and letters with their bodies, for starters. That ought to get them squiggling around. You can also make them count while they jump rope.

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Image via Twenty20/chicagrlhr

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