- Fat children aged six had worse co-ordination than thinner classmates
- Clumsiness can also deter youngsters from playing sport, making them fatter
Daily Mail Reporter
01:15 GMT, 7 June 2014
07:24 GMT, 7 June 2014
Fat children are clumsier because their brain signals may be disrupted, experts say
Fat children are clumsier because their brain signals may be disrupted, say experts.
Even aged six, they have worse co-ordination than thinner classmates, a study found, making it harder for them to lose weight.
Researchers say the physical awkwardness is not simply caused by excess weight making movement difficult. Instead, they believe brain signals that control muscles are interrupted. They also fear clumsiness could deter youngsters from playing sport, making them even fatter.
Dublin City University scientists compared the co-ordination of 60 obese children aged between six and 12 with a similar group of normal weight.
Dexterity tests, including cutting out shapes, putting beads on a string and throwing and catching, showed overweight children’s performance was up to 9.5 per cent worse, the European Congress of Obesity heard.
The fact that differences were noticeable at six suggests that obesity quickly takes its toll.
Researcher David Gaul believes the problems are caused by the brain struggling to process information, which could be due to hormonal changes triggered by obesity.
The Child Growth Foundation’s Tam Fry said people can ‘expect things to go wrong’ if they upset the body’s balance.