Society has promoted exercise to solve the issue of rising childhood obesity statistics. But will exercises for kids actually solve the problem?
I have made it clear in my blog posts that I place dietary choices above exercise in importance for avoiding chronic disease. This is, of course, based on the research, which is supportive of my position (or rather-I’ve developed my opinion based on the research). I have a good friend who began to use MyFitnesPal.com on his phone to monitor his caloric intake. Now, some 6 months later, he’s down a whopping 45 lbs. And he is only now beginning to add in exercise.
It’s great to see this happening to him, but also good for me because it means I haven’t been giving out the wrong information….
Now for my pure speculation NOT based on medical literature.
We promote exercise as a society because no one has money to lose. Reebok, Nike, La Fitness….the list of businesses that can profit from more exercise is quite long. No one is hurt when we promote exercise.
Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, even by it’s title, supports increased activity with not enough focus on the hard recommendations for dietary changes.
Let’s look at who dietary changes like avoiding refined carbs and other processed foods would affect. Kelloggs, Quaker, Nabisco and Kraft just to name a few. These companies would be devastated by national inititives to eat better because few of their products would actually be considered healthy.
So, to summarize my speculation, we make national recommendations to exercise more and get our kids to be less sedentary because there is only money to be made. We avoid solid lifestyle recommendations because the companies that would take a beating financially are the ones in the trenches helping to decide on guidelines.
So why am I bringing all of this up? You guessed it–it relates to this particular article looking at how much effective attempts at increasing kids activity levels were.
Researchers looked at 30 studies over 14,326 participants and evaluated how well they worked. The overall end result?
Four minutes more.
Yup. 4 more lousy minutes of walking or running per day. Hardly enough to overcome the large Starbucks.
I’m not saying that promotion of exercise to our kids is not important. What I’m saying is that we spend millions of dollars on research and promotion and advertisement to get kids to move more and