Children grow faster during school terms –Research

May 20, 2022

By Lydia Gichuki

A recent study by researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas has indicated that children grow faster during school terms.

They said the findings are from a five-year long experiment that included more than 3500 children.

In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, scientists reported that first-year primary school students grew by 0.05cm a month on average between September and April.

This they attribute to school timetable routine that helps children eat and sleep better.

Previous research has shown that children eat more junk and leave the house less during school breaks.

Further, they noted  that exposure to the daily light-dark cycle” that is, the amount of time spent awake during daylight hours may promote growth and results showed children grew significantly more during the school year compared to the summer months.

These studies suggest that seasonal effects such as changes in the light-dark cycle, temperature, or humidity rather than the structure of the school versus the summer environment result in accelerated height gain in the spring and early summer and possible accelerated weight gain in the late summer and fall.

While scientists could not find a clear reason for increased growth during the school terms, they noted children are at the greatest risk of becoming obese over the summer months as previous research showed children eat more junk and leave the house less during school holidays meaning they would put on the most body fat during this time.

Photo Credit; Eduminkenya

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