Daily aerobic exercise may cut down on snoring in kids who are overweight.
Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia report that news in Obesity’s November edition.
Catherine L. Davis, PhD, and colleagues studied 100 overweight children age 7 to 11 in Augusta, Ga.
A quarter of the kids snored or had other sleep-related breathing problems, according to surveys completed by the children’s parents.
The researchers randomly split the kids into three groups.
One group got 40 minutes of supervised aerobic exercise -- such as tag, basketball, soccer, or jump rope -- every day for about 13 weeks.
Another group got 20 minutes of the same sort of daily aerobic exercise.
For comparison, kids in the third group weren’t assigned to get any aerobic exercise; but they were free to continue their usual activities.
After about 13 weeks, the kids’ parents completed a follow-up survey on their child’s snoring and other sleep-related breathing problems.
Those surveys show that kids in the exercise groups had a bigger drop in snoring and sleep-related breathing problems than those not assigned to exercise.
Both exercise groups showed a similar drop in snoring.
But, kids assigned to exercise at least 40 minutes a day showed the biggest overall improvement in sleep-related breathing problems.
The improvements didn’t depend on the kids losing weight. The results weren’t related to changes in the children’s BMI (body mass index), a ratio of weight and height.
The study “adds to the knowledge base about the benefits of physical activity on overweight children’s health, even when weight loss does not occur,” the researchers write.
Because the study only included overweight children, it’s not clear if the findings apply to kids who aren’t overweight, the researchers note.
By Miranda Hitti, reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
SOURCES: Davis, C. Obesity, November 2006; vol 14. News release, Medical College of Georgia.