Monday, January 5, 2009

Obe-City?


As "Auld Lang Syne" chimed in the new year and the emanation of soon-to-be broken resolutions permeated every party, I sat watching the ball drop in Times Square like everyone else. And, like everyone else, I announced my own resolution of eating healthier and dropping a few pounds.

Reading the news the first few days of every year, there are a plethora of stories about weight loss, "biggest losers", and even the urbanized version of going "From Fat to Phat." But this year more than any other, i've read numerous amounts of stories about how fat our children are. That they are the fattest kids in the world, how they don't get any physical activity, and how all they do is eat and text, text and eat. I read so much about childhood obesity that I was ready to drink the Kool-Aid (no pun intended...ok, yes, a pun was intended) on this issue being of "epidemic proportions."


I purposely spent the first 5 days of the new year making an effort to observe kids, observe their activity levels, and to notice what they were eating. What I saw was the vast majority of kids being active, skateboarding, having snowball fights, sledding, and eating fairly well. I thought to myself "where are these huge, inactive, super-sized generation kids that I read so much about?"


Yes, I saw a young girl at Home Depot with her mother that looked significantly overweight. Besides that, the kids appeared to be at a healthy weight. Then, this past Saturday, I attended a swim meet that my two nieces were competing in. There were probably 100 kids at the meet. 90% of these kids were in great shape with the remaining few probably classified as overweight, but even they were racing these swim heats and being active.


Sometimes, it seems like we are inundated with "facts" that we forget to look around us to compile our own representative sample of the areas that we live in. The way the media paints the image of our kids' health, you'd think the sky was falling. Maybe the only thing falling is the credibility of these major news companies. After all, when was the last article you read about how active and healthy nearly 90% of kids are?

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