One myth to discredit is the amount of energy required for motor activity. Children are generally very sedentary: they spend a large part of their day at school participating in bambini-cartwheellessons, doing home- work, going everywhere by car or by public transport and sitting in front of a video (for 2 hours a day on average). Even for the under 6’s, the level of physical activity is generally modest.  Alongside the reduced length of time dedicated to recreational and/or sports activity, one needs to consider that the amount of energy used during these practices is generally modest. For instance, to walk at a moderate pace (3-4 km per hour), a 4-5 year old child will use up about 2 kilocalories per minute and to run will use up less than 3 kilocalories per minute.  However, spending an hour not sitting around does definitely involve an increase in energy use, but not enough to justify extra nutrition above the norm. For example, an ice cream cone provides as many calories as used in an hour of walking. If after activity, one has a large snack, the risk is to over-compensate for the energy used up, leading to an increase in fatty tissue.


To learn more you can find this article on page 91 in the book “Primo Sport”, downloadable for free here.