Children with Healthy Habits Grow into Healthier and Less Anxious Adults

A new study, conducted by researchers from the University of California – Riverside, U.S., finds that a healthy diet and regular exercise in childhood leads to adults with bigger brains and lower levels of anxiety.Children with Healthy Habits Grow into Healthier and Less Anxious Adults

For their study, the researchers used a mouse model. They divided the young mice into four groups – the first group had access to exercise, and the second – didn’t have access. The third group was fed a standard, healthy diet and the fourth ate a Western-type diet.

The scientists the quantity of leptin, which is produced by fat cells and helps control body weight by increasing energy expenditure and signaling that less food is required. Early-life exercise increased adult leptin levels as well as fat mass in adult mice, regardless of the diet they ate.

UCR evolutionary physiologist Theodore Garland, one of the authors of the study, says: “During the COVID-19 lockdowns, particularly in the early months, kids got a very little exercise. For many without access to a park or a backyard, the school was their only source of physical activity. It is important we find solutions for these kids, possibly including extra attention as they grow into adults.”

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