Only a little exercise separates normal weight children from obese kids, according to the results from a new study at the University of Southern California.
"This is a huge wake-up call to society," says Donna Spruijt-Metz, the senior author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California.
USA Today reported the survey found healthy children get just 16 more minutes of physical activity a day than overweight children.
The study also revealed that normal-weight children from ages 6 to 17 are moderately to vigorously active for 59 minutes a day, while obese children that age are active for 43 minutes.
It is estimated that 1/3 of American children are overweight or obese. However, if they can exercise enough when they're young, they can establish a healthy lifestyle early and reduce the risk for diseases like cancer or diabetes.