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Study: Cut Just 64 Calories Per Day to Reduce Obesity

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Turns out an extra half hour of running around the park or exchanging a serving of juice for water is all that’s needed to reverse our country’s obesity trend. Cutting out 64 calories a day, either by exercise or a slight change in diet, will have a substantial impact on childhood obesity statistics by the year 2020, explains newly published research from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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 Researchers analyzed national data on height and weight among U.S. children ages 2 to 19 from 1971 to 2008 to reach their conclusions. If the U.S. obesity trend does not reverse, the authors predict that the average U.S. youth will be nearly four pounds heavier than children and teens of the same age were in 2007-2008, and 21% will be obese. Currently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is calling for the obesity rate to decline to 14.6%.

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Cutting out 64 calories per day doesn’t seem like much, but this shift could take a long time to catch on. Time's Health Land reports that Dr. Y. Claire Wang, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, explained, “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.”

Do you think cutting 64 calories per day will make a difference in obesity rates?

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