A national poll conducted by the University of Michigan’s C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital reveals that child obesity is the top child health concern among U.S. adults, and the concerns are growing.

Obesity has pulled away from a group of concerns vying for the runner-up spot among 23 different health concerns:  drug abuse, smoking, bullying, Internet safety, child abuse and alcohol abuse.

Forty-two percent of the 2,017 adults surveyed in May of this year indicated it was their No. 1 concern, compared to 35 percent of adults surveyed in 2008.

This compels us to ask:

  • Why do we eliminate sports or levels of teams in our schools?
  • Why do we cut kids who want a place on a team?
  • Why do we charge participation fees – require pay-for-play?

School sports – that is, a broad and deep program of interscholastic athletics that emphasizes participation by many rather than opportunity for few – is an effective, inexpensive antidote to one of our nation’s most serious child (and then adult) health issues.  It takes extra effort to design and deliver such a program; but it is good for everyone when we succeed.

For more information regarding child obesity, visit med.umich.edu/mott/npch/ as well as cdc.gov/obesity.

Posted in: Health & Safety


Jim Collins
# Jim Collins
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 9:11 AM
When we have the academic demands placed on our school systems to out perform each other, the one program that has suffered the most is Physical Education. I remember when I was in school we had PE every year and your last two years you had to take elective PE classes. Right now we only require that a high school student takes one semester of Physical Education and some students can get that waived with band being a credit for Physical Education. That is wrong and will ultimately cost all of us millions if not billions in health care cost, which are well documented to be higher for obese people.

In the process of cutting back our programs in PE we have also saturated our children with poor nutrition education. In my opinion the food we allow our children to eat in schools and at home is killing us. It is tougher for schools to have an impact in this area with the cut backs in quality food service available for our students and we have no control of what the kids eat at home. When you combine poor nutrition and lack of movement in our children the end result should not surprise us. We are doing this to ourselves!!!!!

The one thing we can control at school is the amount of exercise a student is involved with each day. We need to implement PE in our schools everyday we have children at school. WE NEED TO EDUCATE THEM. We should also not allow elementary teachers not to take away recess as a motivational tool for their students. I know recess is not suprervised PE but at least the kids get out and move around. The solution is very simple!!

Jim Collins
Bad Axe Public Schools

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