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Study: Kids who get more sunlight less likely to need glasses
Cbsnews.com reports: Playing outside has a number of well-established health benefits for kids, including increasing their physical activity and decreasing their risk of obesity. But perhaps a lesser-known benefit is that it can help protect their eyesight. Now a new study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, further supports that notion. Researchers in China found that spending an extra 40 minutes a day outdoors for three years resulted in a reduction in the rate of myopia, or nearsightedness, in children. Myopia is a condition in which close-up objects can be seen clearly, but distant ones can't. It's estimated to affect about half of kids in the U.S. "Myopia has reached epidemic levels in China and many countries in East Asia," lead study author Dr. Mingguang He of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, told CBS News. "However, there is no effective intervention to prevent the development of myopia in children." He said the study used a randomized trial to provide convincing evidence that this "simple intervention" could reduce the onset of myopia among children. He and his team looked at about 1,900 first-graders from 12 different schools in Guangzhou over a period of three years. Six of the schools added one additional 40-minute class of outdoor activities to each school day. Parents from these schools were also encouraged to engage their children in outdoor activities after school hours, especially during weekends and holidays. Children and parents from the other six schools continued their usual pattern of activity. The results showed that after three years, the incidence of myopia was 30.4 percent in the group of students who spent extra class time outside. For the children without the extra outdoor activity, 39.5 percent had myopia...
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