Pumping up PE won’t affect obesity, concludes a British study. Children who exercise more at school do less at home. Those who get little exercise at school do more on their own. The net effect on energy expenditure and body mass is zero.
In the end, a child will expend the same amount of energy, whether in school or out, suggesting that his level of activity is set by some kind of internal meter in the brain, said the lead researcher, Terry Wilkin, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Peninsula Medical School in the British city of Plymouth.
The research was conducted on children eight to 10 years old at three schools. Inner-city students did PE at school two hours a week; a prep school for wealthy students provided nine hours of PE. The third school was in the middle in exercise and socioeconomics.