According to new research from the University of Tennessee led by Dr. Hollie A. Raynor, young children of preschool age have considerably better diets than their school-age siblings.
But despite that, neither group is receiving sufficient levels of exercise.
The research looked at reports prepared by parents regarding the amount of activity a child was involved in as well as studying what the parents were giving the children to eat and its dietary quality.
Just over 170 girls and boys were studied and it was found that approximately 50% were below school age (6 years old) the other half were 6 to 13 years old.
According to experts, children in these two age groups should spend at least one hour a day involved in play of a highly physical nature, but only 50% of all the children were achieving this one hour of play/workout.
Again nearly half, 47% of all the children aged over six were already overweight or were very close to reaching the overweight mark for their age. By comparison, just over 20% of preschool children were overweight or close to it.
Research also showed that only 16% of preschoolers ate food that is heavy in sugar and salt. The school age group results showed that nearly a third ate sweet foods every day and over 25% ate foods heavy in salt each day.