Fat Kids Dupe Docs, Rig Pedometers

By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2009 9:49 AM CDT
Puerto Rican boys exercise at a gym specializing in children's fitness in Puerto Rico.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – Researchers couldn't understand why the pedometers they had attached to obese children showed they got plenty of exercise—until they realized they were counting dog steps, reports the BBC. Several of the London 11- and 12-year-olds taking part in the study simply attached the devices to their pets' collars.

"After a week we found there were some kids who were extremely active but still obese," said one professor. After adjusting for the dog steps, the study found boys took just 12,620 steps a day, well below the recommended 15,000 steps. Girls took 10,150 steps, short of their recommended 12,000 steps.