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Survey: 3 out of 4 children don't get recommended physical activity

Updated: Wednesday, January 8 2014, 12:23 PM CST
(CBS News) -A government survey looking at adolescents’ physical fitness levels shows that youth aren’t as active as they should be.

Only 1 in 4 U.S. kids aged 12 to 15 meet the recommendations -- an hour or more of moderate to vigorous activity every day.

The results are based on about 800 kids who self-reported their activity levels and had physical exams as part of the 2012 National Youth Fitness Survey.

Government researchers won't call the results disappointing, but lead author Tala Fakhouri of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "There's always room for improvement."

The CDC released partial results Wednesday from the fitness survey, which involved kids aged 3 to 15. Other results from the same survey are pending and include fitness data based on more objective measures including treadmill tests.

The rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled in young kids and tripled in adolescents over the past three decades, the CDC reports. In 2010, more than 33 percent of kids and adolescents could be classified as overweight or obese. The percentage of six through 11 year olds who were obese went from 7 percent in 1980 to almost 18 percent in 2010.  The adolescent rate jumped from 5 percent to 18 percent over the same time period.

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