Weighted Toys?

June 30, 2006

I read this article today and found it of interest.

Researchers at Indiana State University in Terre Haute tried a small experiment to test the effects of having kids play with heavier toys. They found that 10 children ages 6 to 8 burned more calories and had higher heart and breathing rates when they moved 3-pound toy blocks instead of unweighted blocks.

It reminds me of the “old school” discipline, where parents would have their children move cement blocks from one pile to another. Just to keep them busy. This was before the age of the X-Box.

Some experts caution that children could hurt themselves trying to lift too much too soon and said more activity is preferable to heavier toys. But all agree childhood obesity is a big problem.

Obesity rates have tripled over the past 40 years for children and adolescents, raising the risk of diabetes and other health problems. Federal health officials say more than a third of American children are overweight; about 17 percent are considered obese.

I don’t know about this. These studies are talking about making 3 lbs stuffed teddy bears. What about the kids that wouldn’t think twice to throw the teddy bear to a playmate? What do you think?