of a recent study show kids that are home-schooled are leaner than children attending traditional schools. The results challenge the theory that children
spending more time at home may be at risk of excessive weight gain.
was published in the journal Obesity and conducted by researchers from
University of Colorado's Anschutz Health and Wellness Centre (AHWC) and
the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
It looked at both home-schooled and
traditionally-schooled children between the ages of seven and 12 in Birmingham.
Participants and their parents reported diet and the kids' physical activity were monitored and they were measured for body fat, among other things.
on previous research, we went into this study thinking home-schooled children
would be heavier and less active than kids attending traditional schools,"
said Michelle Cardel, PhD, RD, the study's lead author. "We found the
Difference at lunchtime
show that home-schoolers were less likely to be obese than the
traditionally-schooled kids, even though kids in both groups were getting the
same amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity. The calorie intakes were
also similar, except at lunchtime. Kids in traditional schools were consuming
significantly more calories, sodium, and sugar at lunch. New school guidelines
aimed at more nutritious lunches had not yet taken effect when the study data
was collected from 2005 to 2009.
applaud the new school meal guidelines and efforts to give kids healthy options
at school," Cardel said. "We don't know if we would have seen these
same results if we had included children who brought their lunch to school. We
think these differences may reflect the uniqueness of the home environment in
home-school families but future research is needed to know for sure."
now focusing her efforts on understanding the influence of race/ethnicity and
socio-economic differences on dietary intakes and obesity risk in elementary