Active kids more likely to avoid heart disease

Physically active children are more likely to keep diabetes and heart disease at bay, a new study reveals.The study, led by researchers Glenn McConell and Mary Wlodek from Victoria and Melbourne Universities, tested whether exercise could re-programme rats predisposed to diabetes and heart disease owing to their lower birth weight.

`Those born small are programmed for a higher chance of disease later in life because of their underdeveloped heart and pancreas, but we think you can re-programme yourself by exercising early in life,` said McConell, the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism reported.

In the trials on rats born small, those that exercised from five to nine weeks of age showed a small improvement in organ function at the end of that month, but remarkably, six months later their organs were the same as the healthy control group, a university statement said.

Another group of born small rats were not exercised and showed no improvement. McConell said a nine-week old rat correlated roughly with a five-year-old child and a six-month-old rat with a young adult person.

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