Exercise Deficit Disorder in Youth: Play Now or Pay Later

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Although the benefits of regular physical activity are widely acknowledged, recent epidemiological findings indicate that a growing number of youth are not as active as they should be. The impact of a sedentary lifestyle during childhood and adolescence on lifelong pathological processes and associated health care costs has created a need for immediate action to manage, if not prevent, unhealthy behaviors during this vulnerable period of life. The concept of identifying children with exercise deficit disorder early in life and prescribing effective exercise interventions to prevent the cascade of adverse health outcomes later in life is needed to raise public awareness, focus on primary prevention, and impact the collective behaviors of health care providers, government officials, school administrators, public health agencies, and insurance companies.

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