Keeping Kids Active
Obesity has reached unprecedented levels among children and adolescents in developed countries across the globe, with recent estimates of 23.8% of boys and 22.6% of girls being overweight or obese. This chapter provides a brief overview of summertime weight gain and fitness loss as well as the role of physical activity (PA) as a contributing factor. It summarizes the existing literature examining how PA fluctuates during the school year versus summertime. The chapter describes four key inter-related contextual factors that may drive these fluctuations e.g., climate/weather, structured days, family socioeconomic status (SES), and safety. It reviews the existing literature on summertime interventions to address PA with a focus on “what works” to guide researchers and practitioners. The chapter highlights key issues that should be addressed in future research. A related factor is a lack of access to safe places to play and hold summer camps or activities which could also impact on youth’s levels of PA over the summer months.