British children today weaker than kids in the 1990s

The BMI for 10-year-olds hasn’t changed, but modern children are physically weaker than children of the same age a decade ago.

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British 10-year-olds are physically weaker than they were 10 years ago, a study published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica has found.

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The strength of 315 Essex children, age 10, was studied in 2008 and compared to 309 children who were 10 in 1998. While the kids has the same BMI, they were weaker and not as muscular.

Between 1998 and 2008, the number of sit-ups 10-year-olds could do dropped 27%, arm strength declined 6% and grip strength fell 7%. In the ‘class of 2008’, one in 10 children couldn’t hold their own weight when hanging from bars, which is double the 1998 figure.

So what’s the point of all these stats? The study authors want ministers to stop relying on the National Child Measurement Programme so much (this is the programme that sees primary school kids’ BMI measured), and bring fitness testing in to all schools.  They aren’t the first to voice the idea – Sir Liam Donaldson called for this last year, when he was the Chief Medical Officer, reports the Telegraph.

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