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Researchers: Kids gain weight during summer vacation

Friday - 7/5/2013, 8:08am  ET

WASHINGTON - Now that school is out and summer is in full swing, what are you doing to make sure your kids stay healthy over the break?

Many schools across the U.S. have taken steps to upgrade to healthy menus, so non-school environments now may be more harmful to kids.

In a study published by The American Journal of Public Health, researchers who followed more than 5,300 American kids in kindergarten and first grade found that their body mass index typically increased faster over the summer compared to during the school year.

The reason may be similar to why many adults gain weight during holidays: a lack of structure and supervision allows kids to indulge in sedentary activities and snack more, The New York Times cites the researchers as saying.

The Times says a previous study in The Journal of School Health found that for kids who were heavier anyway, a school environment actually helped them lose weight.

WTOP's Alan Etter contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.