Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Primary Care

Preventing childhood obesity by reducing consumption of carbonated drinks: cluster randomised controlled trial

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 20 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1237

Rapid Response:

Let outdoors be their second home

Childhood obesity is no doubt a serious health care concern with its
deleterious effects on the society as a whole. Measures to decrease its
menace should focus at promoting overall healthy lifestyle habits in
children rather than focussing on any one aspect responsible for it.
Reduction of carbonated drinks undoubtedly reduces the energy consumption
and thereby the obesity levels in young children. However an analysis of
factors responsible for an increase in these drinks needs to be done to
prevent their overconsumption.
Studies(1,2) have found out that an increase in the indoor activities like
television viewing, working on computers etc. has brought about an
increase in the consumption of junk foods and carbonated drinks. This also
means a reduction in the outdoor playing activities thereby decreasing the
total energy expenditure by the children. These problems are being
aggravated by the parental pressures to perform well on the academic front
thereby decreasing further the time spent in outdoors by the children.
A strategy thus needs to be developed comprising of healthy eating habits,
maximising outdoor activities and restricting the number of television
viewing hours thereby decreasing the factors responsible for the
consumption of junk foods and carbonated drinks and hence their effects on
the health of children.

1)Matheson DM, Killen JD, Wang Y, Varady A, Robinson TN.Children's food
consumption during television viewing.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):1088-94.

2)Crespo CJ, Smit E, Troiano RP, Bartlett SJ, Macera CA, Andersen
RE.Television watching, energy intake, and obesity in US children: results
from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001 Mar;155(3):360-5.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 May 2004
Amit K Kapoor
Johnson and Johnson Fellow in Arthroplasty
Sasidhar Yeluri, Jayashree Panwar, Guneesh
Center for Knee Surgery, Baroda, India-390001