American kid's fitness ranks among the worst in the world

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By TC Newman, Buzz60

The U.S. is one of the most developed countries in the world, and yet our kids are falling behind in a basic need - their health and physical fitness.

Gone are the days of "run outside and play" and while many American kids' may be able to work an iPad on their own at the age of 3, they are lagging behind the rest of the world in physical stamina.

A study published in the British Journal of Medicine tracked the aerobic fitness levels of 1.1 million kids between the ages of 9 and 17. Researchers used performance data from a 20 meter, or 66 foot, run, and found U.S. children were not leaders of the pack.

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US Fitness Rankings
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US Fitness Rankings

5. San Francisco, CA

Overall Rank: 5

Overall Score: 69.3

Personal Health Rank: 3

Personal Health Score: 77.3

Community Health Rank: 17

Community Health Score: 61.5

4. Portland, OR

Overall Rank: 4

Overall Score: 69.6

Personal Health Rank: 8

Personal Health Score: 71.8

Community Health Rank: 6

Community Health Score: 67.5

3. Denver, CO

Overall Rank: 3

Overall Score: 72.6

Personal Health Rank: 1

Personal Health Score: 82.7

Community Health Rank: 8

Community Health Score: 62.8

2. Minneapolis, MN

Overall Rank: 2

Overall Score: 76.7

Personal Health Rank: 4

Personal Health Score: 75.3

Community Health Rank: 2

Community Health Score: 78

1. Washington D.C. 

Overall Rank: 1

Overall Score: 77.9

Personal Health Rank: 2

Personal Health Score: 81.7

Community Health Rank: 3

Community Health Score: 74.2


American kids finished 47th out of the 50 countries studied, barely ahead of Latvia, Peru and Mexico.

The study found the fittest kids were from Tanzania, Africa, followed by Iceland, Estonia, Norway and Japan.

One of the biggest reasons why U.S. kids are running so slowly compared to other countries may surprise you.

This study found the larger the gap between the wealthy and the poor, the lower the country's fitness levels.

Poverty is linked to lower life expectancies plus an increased risk of cardiovascular and other diseases.

The best solution for parents is to encourage your kids to play - without the computer- and work up a sweat for at least an hour a day.

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