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1 in 4 teens fitness guidelines: 75 out of 100 U.S. kids not 'healthy'

For 1 in 4 teens, fitness guidelines are nonexistent. The latest CDC results from a study released Wednesday show that 75 percent of kids and teenagers are not getting the recommended amount of daily exercise for optimal health without dieting. Although one in four teenagers' health and physical fitness numbers are lower than expected, the "Let's Move anti-obesity campaign, created by first lady Michelle Obama, has helped, according to a Jan. 8 CBS News report.

Children walk to an exercise class during the Shapedown program for overweight adolescents and children on November 13, 2010 in Aurora, Colorado.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Watch video above: "How to talk to kids about obesity."

Only 1 in 4 teens meet fitness guidelines, based on a 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey in which 800 participants self-reported their daily health and exercise activities and submitted to physical exams.

Fitness guidelines established in 2008 for 12 to 15-year-olds recommend activities that get respiration and heart rates up. This is accomplished by getting about one hour of moderate exercise on a daily basis.

The good news is that since the guidelines were established, 25 percent of teens say they get more outdoor exercise, like basketball and baseball.

Moreover, this helps with exposure to the sun in moderate levels, which is shown to facilitate the body’s own production of vitamin D. This essential vitamin is vital to strong immune system functionality, which helps to ward off common illnesses like colds and the flu.

Dr. Stephen Pont, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics' section on obesity, said this about the results of the study on fitness and its impact on overall fitness among teenagers:

It's definitely very concerning to see that our kids are engaging in such a limited amount of physical activity each day when we are still battling an obesity epidemic."

Although only 1 in 4 teens meet fitness guidelines, overall obesity percentages are down. Still, this represents 12.5 million teens under threat of chronic health conditions.

The takeaway from this study is simply this: Let's get moving, kids...and parents, as your children tend to emulate your habits -- good or not so good.


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