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The “Rule of Three” Can Keep Kids Healthier

The “Rule of Three” Can Keep Kids Healthier

The “Rule of Three” in writing says you communicate most strongly when giving information in clumps of three: The phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is a great example. “Life, liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness”? All worthy, but the three is easier to remember.

The Rule of Three also applies to your child’s wellbeing. Sticking to guidelines on 1) TV time, 2) physical activity and 3) sleep are what it takes to help your child pursue a life that’s healthy, happy and free of the problems associated with obesity.

A study by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, reveals that children who spend less than two hours a day watching TV, get a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least five days a week and get sufficient sleep (9 to 11 hours nightly for 5- to 13-year-olds, 8 to 10 hours for kids 14 to 18), slash their odds for obesity by 86 percent! Kids who meet two of those three guidelines reduce obesity risk by 40 percent. Unfortunately, around 9 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds in the U.S. are obese, as are 17 percent of kids 2 to 19.

So Mom, Dad, listen up. If you want to help your child thrive and avoid life-altering diseases such as premature heart woes and diabetes, it’s time for your kids to adopt the Rule of Three. And while you’re at it, grab onto it yourself! Your younger RealAge will give you the energy to chase after them.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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