AAP statement: Recess key for healthy kids



The fight against childhood obesity involves several factors, and exercise is one of the key components of a healthy lifestyle at any age.

The fight against childhood obesity involves several factors, and exercise is one of the key components of a healthy lifestyle at any age. A new policy statement recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is touting recess time at school as a crucial part of a child's day, and the exercise involved is high on the list of reasons for this push.

Recess is traditionally an unstructured play time for children. The AAP notes that kids can not only gain physical activity benefits from the break, but also have the chance to escape the academic environment of the classroom to socialize and freely use their imaginations.

"The AAP has, in recent years, tried to focus the attention of parents, school officials and policymakers on the fact that kids are losing their free play," stressed Robert Murray, M.D., a lead author of the AAP statement.

Children who spend more of their days physically active may be less likely to develop conditions that would require them to buy Actos or other treatments as adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of childhood obesity has more than tripled since the early 1980s, and roughly one-third of American children are now either overweight or obese.