Health Notes: Cutting calories could curb childhood obesity, outdoor ellipticals burn more calories than indoor ellipticals

In SNEWS Health Notes, we take a look at recent health research that might be pertinent to your business. In this report, SNEWS takes a look at two studies, that concludes cutting 64 calories a day from childrens’ diets could reverse obesity epidemic, and another that shows outdoor ellipticals burn more calories than indoor ellipticals.
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You want the latest information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but perhaps you'd rather not wade through the techno-science garble that makes most reports hard to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing snewsbox@snewsnet.com.

>>Helping children cut 64 calories a day could reverse childhood obesity rates

According to a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, helping children cut 64 unnecessary calories out of their daily diet could help reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

The study said that if parents don’t help children cut the calories, or burn them through exercise, the childhood obesity rate would shoot up to more than 20 percent in 2020, versus the 16.9 percent it’s at today.

"Sixty-four calories may not sound like much individually, but it's quite a consequential number at the population level, and children at greatest risk for obesity face an even larger barrier," said Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and lead author of the study. "Closing this gap between how many calories young people are consuming and how many they are expending will take substantial, comprehensive efforts."

Tips for cutting those calories include helping children cut sugary drinks and enrolling them in active after-school activities.

So what? Battling and preventing childhood obesity is a hot topic these days and perhaps it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to invest in some pieces of children’s equipment for your store such as the children’s bicycle and elliptical machines from Fitness Master that were featured at last year’s Health and Fitness Business Expo. And for those customers who do purchase children’s products, be sure to share this news with them.

For the scientifically minded: Find the journal article here.

>> Outdoor ellipticals found to be good source of cross training

The two-wheeled outdoor elliptical called the Elliptigo hit the scene last year, and at this year’s IHRSA there was the Street Strider, a similar concept only on three wheels invented by Dr. David Kraus.

Another big difference, noted Dan Theade, director of operations of StreetStrider, is the street strider has movable handles much like some stationary elliptical machines do, whereas the Elliptigo has a handlebar system similar to a bicycle.

Most recently the American Council on Exercise enlisted the help of a team from the University of Wisconsin to study the effect of the StreetStrider on 15 healthy adults, seven males and eight females, who spanned the age range of 19 to 53. All subjects had previous experience exercising on stationary elliptical exercise machines. The study found that subjects burned more calories and elicited a greater heart rate on the StreetStrider verusus a traditional indoor elliptical machine.

So what? Last year HealthStyles Exercise Equipment’s owner David Sheriff ranted about how great sales were of the Elliptigo at his stores. Despite its more than $1,000 price tag (and in come cases even more than $2,000), people still want them. The StreetStrider was featured on the Biggest Loser in the past, and that usually boosts sales of equipment for retailers. So the lesson: Put a few outdoor ellipticals on your showroom floor.

For the scientifically minded: Find the ACE article on the study, and its results, here

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