Organized efforts to get preschoolers moving appear to have little influence on whether or not they become overweight, new research suggests.
Preschool-aged children in a Scottish study who participated in regular exercise sessions did develop better motor and movement skills than children who did not. But they were no less likely to become overweight during the yearlong study than more sedentary children. Participation in organized exercise also did not appear to promote more activity during free play.
Researchers from the University of Glasgow concluded that programs that focus on physical activity alone are not likely to have a significant impact on obesity in very young children. But two childhood fitness experts who spoke to WebMD remain convinced that promoting physical activity early has lasting benefits, even if studies don't show it.