As a nation, we’ve spent billions and billions of dollars on studies in the name of discovering a practical antidote to childhood obesity.
We have studies indicating that childhood obesity is related to our modern fast food diet.
We have studies indicating that the odds of childhood obesity are increased in a couch potato generation of kids who prefer TV and video games over riding bikes and climbing trees.
We have studies indicating that the odds of beating obesity are better for kids who have access to daily PE than for kids who lack access to daily PE.
We have studies relating childhood obesity to poor sleeping habits, to green neighborhoods, to a child’s social circles, to parents who take responsibility for their kid’s diet, and to the presence of super markets in economically challenged neighborhoods to mention only a few.
What we have yet to discover in any of our studies is a simple, implementable, documentable, and affordable solution to childhood obesity. We’ve found no magic pill, no silver bullet, no way to inspire and motivate kids to eat better/less and exercise more.
On the Other Hand…
On the other hand, think about this. Show me ten kids who live on a fast food diet, but who can do one single pull up and I’ll show you ten kids who are NOT OBESE.
Show me ten kids who love TV and video games but can do one single pull up, and I’ll show you ten more kids who are NOT OBESE.
Show me ten kids who never get PE in school, but who can do one single pull up, and I’ll show you ten more kids who are NOT OBESE.
Show me ten kids with bad sleeping habits, who live life in gray concrete neighborhoods, with no supermarkets, and who have miserable social circles, but who can do one single pull up and I’ll show you another ten kids who are NOT OBESE. In other words kids who can do pull ups are NEVER OBESE, so why don’t we just help all kids learn to physically pull their own weight?
You see helping kids to learn to do pull ups is “simple, easily implemented, easily documented, and affordable,” according to the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. So maybe that practical solution to childhood obesity prevention has been hiding in plain sight all along, but in searching high and low for complicated, high tech solutions, we’ve overlooked the obvious. Yes, kids who can do pull ups ARE NEVER OBESE! Let’s help them all learn to physically pull their own weight.
Rick Osbourne spent 17 years as a physical educator and coach. He currently writes for a living, and serves as the Executive Director of Operation Pull Your Own Weight, (www.pullyourownweight.net) an inf