Kids who ride bikes or walk to and from school tend to eat less junk food, according to a new study published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine. This doesn’t come as a huge shock—commuting by bike is part of a healthy lifestyle, just like nutritious eating.
The study was conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, where weather is ideal for year-round commuting. Of the 3,316 fourth and fifth graders surveyed, an impressive 27 percent of them actively rode or walked to school. Researchers compared the calorie intake of these kids to their classmates who traveled by bus or car.
Between the two groups, the passive riders (bus or car commuting) consumed an average of 78 more calories per day in sweets and snack-type foods than their active-commuting peers.
The researchers came to the conclusion that many parents likely provide unhealthy foods during the commute—you can’t stop at a McDonalds drive thru window on your bike, but it’s an easy move in the car. And regardless of where the kids are getting their treats, it’s a lot easier to sit in the backseat and snack on a bag of chips than it is to open that same bag while pedaling down the street.
Our conclusion? No matter how you look at it, a bike ride or walk to school is healthy for kids!
Source: Bicycling (www.bicycling.com)