An article inspired by the following: Weighty Matters: The American Diabetes Association Wants Video Games in Your Kids School Gyms?.
One of the major issues I have after having read the report above, is that the ADA (American Diabetic Association) being happy to recommend that Dance, Dance, Revolution into our childrens’ schools for gym is, where do our kids get exercise with this? In our generation alone, kids have gone from being outside, running and playing with other neighborhood kids the majority of their time; to being inside, inactive, and isolated.
Let’s take a quick look at something interesting I noted from the article:
Looks awesome right, kids playing DDR were expending more than double the calories expended at rest. But wait, that’s a strange way to report energy expenditure, isn’t it? Usually energy expenditure is reported as calories burned per hour of activity, why not here?
Because reporting it as a function of energy burned at rest is the only way to make this study sound interesting. When you actually crunch the study’s numbers you’ll find that DDR helps to burn an additional 91 calories/hr. That’s less than half the calories you’d burn leisurely walking, let alone actually running around and playing some sort of sport in a gymnasium.
Yes, that’s right less than half the calories you’d burn simply WALKING. I don’t seem to recall doing much in the way of walking in gym class growing up; you?
It’s not bad enough that school sports and activities are being cut due to budgetary concerns, but now the people who educate our children and spend our tax dollars are spending them on gaming units such as XBOX, WII and Nintendo systems. The overall lack of exercise kids are seeing today along with the complete lack of social interaction and significant cuts being made to school programs directly effects our kids abilities to grow strong bodies, and healthy minds. Why parents are not screaming about this is beyond me!!! Our kids are being groomed to be lazy and isolated automatons. Better than 50% of kids born in this millennium will contract diabetes in their lifetimes and most before they leave high school. Putting that into perspective, that means that 40-45% of kids born in the past 12 years will be insulin dependent BEFORE they finish high school according to a 2008 CDC Report. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says “Life expectancy is expected to drop over the next generation”. These kids will grow up needing the help of medicines to maintain – not cure, not correct, but maintain their diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other major risk factors that come from leading a life of inactivity. I know, since I am one of those people.
When we were kids:
- we’d walk to school (my walk was 3.1 km).
- we’d walk home for lunch (3.1 km)
- Schools provided real food for those who didn’t go home for lunch.
- we’d walk back to school (3.1 km)
- we’d walk home from school (3.1km bringing the total to 12.4km)
- we’d play outside until dinner and/or darkness fell.
- we didn’t have much if any homework.
- we played tag, and other things at recess (my kids don’t even HAVE a recess as we had it).
- we looked forward to playing road hockey, soccer, kick ball, and other games with neighborhood kids.
- Get driven to school (even a block or two)
- Stay at school for lunch
- Schools provide food like substances for lunch
- Get driven home from school (total walking to and from school/car, 125 meters)
- No sports or activities after school, all cut
- Homework for the next couple of hours
- Have no time to play outside
- Many games we played as kids are banned at schools. My daughter (7) tells me that most kids bring their Nintendo DS to school and play them during “Nutrition breaks” (recess)
- When was the last time you drove through a school area and heard kids scream “CARRRRRR”, and move their hockey nets?
- Given the choice, kids of today would rather play their game units than play outside.
Here’s something else to consider. It costs $41,000/yr to take care of an inmate, and our government and educators spend less than $500/kid/yr for food and nutrition.
Something else that caught my attention recently, is a letter a co-worker showed me that they’d received from their kids school. It was asking them to provide the kids with healthy snacks for a field trip they were going on (since the school wasn’t providing any food or drinks). Here’s the list of “Healthy Snacks” they suggested:
- Gold Fish
- Cheese Slices
- Fruit Roll-ups
- Animal Crackers
- Ritz Crackers
- Cereal Bars
- and drinks such as juice boxes, and cans of pop, such as Coke, Pepsi, and Orange Crush (extra vit c ya know)
Will someone please tell me what’s healthy about ANY of these? Where are Apples, Pears, Bacon, Celery, Carrots? Instead of healthy foods, they want our kids to consume, Sugar, wheat, gluten, sodium, cereals, oils, food dyes, and 100’s of ingredients that no one can pronounce let alone know what they actually do to our bodies and minds.
Oh…and i forgot to mention. While out on this school trip, they were going to visit Burger King for lunch, and parents should send money along with their kids for those wishing to participate. Really? OMFG!