Quick, make ‘em sweat it all off!
by Dr. Kwame M. Brown
Brian and Pat asked me to review and write something on this article
Premature death is more likely in obese children
To begin, I am sure that kids that spend their lives being obese from a young age will shorten their lifespan overall, and more importantly will decrease quality of life. I am also sure that most people think that.
However, I have some real problems with this study. Sensational title, then when you read further….uhhh…
“Scientists could not determine how many years obesity may shorten lives because most of the participants were still alive, so the average life span of the group wasn’t known yet, he says.”
So, you are making the conclusion that people die early, when none of them have died! This is the problem with some of our research and how prematurely we now report data. We are now predicting death before it happens.
There are other reservation specific factors ranging from higher rates of alcoholism to greater unemployment that complicate matters when discussing obesity.
Now we have a very fear based headline. Why does this matter? Because when humans let fear be the impetus for solving a problem, the thought process becomes immediately superficial and reactionary. Promoting and fostering desire to play among kids is so obviously the answer, but this view requires a focus on enjoyment and a positive outlook. Fear does not provide for this. What happens from the fear perspective?
-Programs that have kids running on treadmills until they drop
-Programs targeting (and therefore isolating) obese children.
-Diet pills for kids
Please don’t think that I am completely condemning this research, there is some valuable information especially in the write up article. It’s just that we have to start thinking about implications, and being more careful about sensationalized headlines that belie what’s underneath.
Much like with Reefer Madness (look it up), people are in such a hurry to get the truth out, they end up lying. Instead of just acknowledging this huge health risk, and spending energy to do something about it, many just continue to name and rename a problem, hoping someone else will solve it.
I would submit that it’s because most have no idea how to solve it. Part of this is because we have literally set up our whole society to sit, and then watch the elite play. Because we routinely eradicate spaces and opportunities for free play in childhood.
Read the article. What’s your take?