The Truth About Youth Obesity

Youth Obesity realisations

I’m going to start by telling you what very few other people are willing to…

 

… The truth is, there should be no incidents of overweight or obese youths
with the exception of those with medical conditions.

 

There should be no excuse beyond that.

 

With daily exercise and attention to proper nutrition, obesity and overweight
concerns cease to be problems.

 

As a matter of fact, the one and only solution to youth obesity and overweight
conditions lies in exercise and good nutrition.

 

And these things have to become a habit in your life and your child’s.

 

Because exercise and proper eating are the only methods I advocate, and the only
ones that work, I’m not going to spend time discussing trends, fads, or crazes.

 

Youth obesity is not a short-term problem

.

 

It is not going to resolve itself with a short-term solution.

 

It’s not about a magic pill. It’s not about restricting calories for a short period of
time or running on a treadmill for as long as you can stand.

 

It’s about honest to goodness, wholesale life changes, day by day, in small
incremental steps that eventually lead to a large change.

 

Our biggest mistake was when we started believing and buying into short-term,
lazy, and quick-fix solutions.

 

We have been naive, and we have been wrong, and look where it’s gotten us.

 

So, if you’re not prepared to hear the truth, then this free "Final Solution" report
isn’t for you.

 

This is not going to be a quick-fix solution, but it will be a solution, and a final
one at that.

 

It’s not going to take enormous amounts of work; in fact, it’s going to take a very
insignificant amount of work day by day.

 

It’s not quick and it’s not necessarily easy, but it will be effective, and it’s the
solution you’re looking for.

 

Let me start here –

People used to be active daily as a matter of being.

 

It wasn’t something we had to make time for.

 

We didn’t need a designated place to do it (such as a gym), or time (such as
right after work).

 

Children walked, ran, played, climbed trees, and wrestled with their friends.

 

Most adults worked physical jobs and spent their leisure time outdoors.

 

In only the past two decades, this lifestyle seems to have been almost completely
replaced.

 

When I was a kid, physical activity was at the core of my being.

 

Every morning in the summer, I’d wake up, have breakfast, and head outside.

 

I would be gone for the next several hours—riding my bike, playing pick-up games
of baseball, football, or basketball with my friends, climbing trees, and playing tag.

 

Hours upon hours of just being active for fun.

 

Becoming overweight wasn’t something I even thought about.

 

And as I moved into adulthood, the habit of being active that I had established
as a child remained.

 

Naturally, as the demands of my schedule increased, I had to start carving out specific
times to be active.

 

I had to plan gym workouts and times when I would go for a run, but I made sure to
be physical in some capacity every single day.

 

Being physical and active were ingrained in me to the point that if I couldn’t get up
and do something regularly, I’d know that my priorities weren’t in order and would
need to be corrected.

 

As human beings, our bodies are programmed to be active—to move every single day.

 

We are movement-oriented machines.

 

And in fact, to not be active—to be sedentary—goes against everything that our
bodies have been built for.

 

It’s not just that our bodies are built for activity, but they intuitively want to be active
and healthy.

 

To eat less than wholesome foods (processed foods) and to be inactive goes against
the very nature of being human, and we pay for that lifestyle with declining health.

 

We have been led to believe that regimented exercise is the only path to health and
weight loss.

 

The general thinking is that if you want to get in shape, you have to go to the gym,
hit the treadmill for a certain number of minutes, lift weights for a few sets, etc.

 

But again, all the human body wants to do is move, and there’s no better way to move,
and to enjoy that movement, than by playing games.

 

Playing a physical game and really competing to win takes tremendous energy.

 

It’s not just a way for children to blow off steam or kill time.

 

Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Tomorrow, go for a walk on a treadmill or a 20-minute jaunt on a stair master,
and then the day after go climb a tree with your kid or go to the local park and
t
ry to move around on the monkey bars.

 

Then tell me which is “harder"… and more importantly, more fun!

 

Now here’s the final point you need to understand.

 

If I asked you whether your seven year-old could pass the second grade in a month,
what would you say?

 

No, of course, because the school year is designed for a reason.

 

Lessons and skills need time to be learned and developed.

 

And as we ascend through the grades of elementary, junior high, and then high
school, the curriculum becomes more advanced and more progressive.

 

You couldn’t possibly pass grade 12 calculus if you didn’t take and understand
elementary mathematics like addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication
beforehand.

 

Exercise and nutrition work exactly the same way.

 

That’s why I keep restating the point that crash dieting and/or crash exercising
isn’t effective for long-term improvements.

 

We first must establish small, daily goals of nutrition and exercise.

 

These are little things, like trying to eat more frequently on Day 1, and then eventually
changing the foods you eat over time.

 

I would be overjoyed if tomorrow, even though you had been sedentary for some
time now, you took your kids out to play for five minutes.

 

The next day you could play for seven minutes, and the day after that, ten.

 

I know the change may seem so slight that it couldn’t possibly make a difference,
but it absolutely does.

 

Think in terms of progression.

 

Exercise and nutrition are just like school.

 

You don’t have to know everything on your first day.

 

Just apply yourself over time and, before you know it, you’ve graduated.

 

But here’s the kicker…

 

… YOU have to be the captain of this ship.

 

Seriously.

 

Obesity is a learned behavior.

 

Your kids don’t buy the groceries.

 

Your kids don’t prepare the meals.

 

Your kids play video games endlessly if they aren’t given boundaries.

 

If you adopt a healthier lifestyle, so will your kids.

 

If you happily enjoy at least one wholesome meal a day, so will your kids.

 

If you hem-and-haw about having to go outside a play for 5 minutes before you
park it in front of the TV for the rest of the night… So will your kids and clients!

 

Your thoughts…

 

Have you heard about my ‘Final Solution’ to the Youth Obesity Problem?

 

Click below to find out what it is –

 

 

YOUth Fitness Solution

 

 

 

The Youth Fitness Solution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Responses

  1. TJ Byxbee says:

    You are right on target-I was born in Southern California in 1969 to two very active parents-everyone thought they were nuts when they played with us on the playground, rode bikes with us, rollerskated, my dad even took up learning how to skate board with us when it was just getting started. I will also mention that my Dad was 53 the year I was born, and my Mom was 39-quite atypical parents of that time. PE was mandatory for me up until my senior year of high school, and since activity was and is still a habit, and now my vocation. In my boot camps we work hard, but we also learn how to play again too. I brought Splash Bombs with me in a bucket of water last week-we “played” dodge ball with them for the last 15minutes of camp, and everyone had a ball. More parents need to set the example.

  2. Nancy A Victoria says:

    I totally agree with what you have said in your article. Also
    our medical system needs to prompt people a little more and
    state the facts to people not sugar coat obesity problems.

  3. Brian-

    I could not agree more. As you know, we are the premier youth-only, full-service health club in the Western U.S. (and likely the North America). We have worked with over 2,500 kids in just over one year using our multi-disciplinary approach, which includes certified, state-of-the-art fitness instruction, a pediatric weight management support service featuring nutrition and behavioral guidance from the authors of Trim Kids, and would like to strengthen our relationships within and across the IYCA.

    Let’s make a difference!

    Dave
    408 358 – 7529 (PLAY), or
    1 888 FIT 4 A KID

  4. Mark says:

    Get rid of the remote control. Stop parking as close to the door of the store as possible. Instead of going to the gym, go for a hike or play a game of basketball. Build balance and good posture into every movement or activity, such as getting in or out of a car. Don’t turn on the TV everytime you sit down for a moment. Read motivating material such as good nutrition magazines. Pass these habits on to your kids.

  5. Bryan F says:

    I like how you express how foundations need to be gradually built for new habits to take hold and how gradual changes that people can realistically handle lead to a permanent solution. In a sense then you “cure” the disease by training the mind, not just the body. This is the strategy we need to promote first and foremost!

  6. Annie says:

    I dont know why anyone would disagree with what is being said…the medical system,school nor anyone else is not responsible for the situation of obesity in children. The PARENTS are. They have the absolute responsibility for the state of health of their children. I grew up with endless days outside playing, cycling, skatebaording on homemade skateboards, tennis and any chance we got to be outside when not raining (in Ireland!!), we were out. Now I am working in the fitness field and have 2 children that know nothing else apart from being active. My 4 year old was actually with me when I was training for the longest time and actually got to see what I do in helping make my clients fitter! There is no excuse for obesity… parents need to take responsibility and step up to the plate and take care of their children not just pretend to be there.

  7. Mike Skoflanc says:

    I agree totally Brian. I’m 55 and when I was a kid we left the house in the morning and did’nt come home until the Evening hrs. That time was filled with pick up baseball, basketball or football games at the local park. In between maybe games of tag or simply trying to out run the neighborhood tough guy.(that was my speed work!!)Everything we did then was simply plyometrics,agility,speed,quickness etc. in the form of PLAY!!!! I am in the process of trying to get some of our local grade schools interested in my youth conditioning program as a part of their PE program or if they don’t have one STARTING one. Bringing with that the IYCA message. Continued success Brian.

  8. andy_english says:

    You look back with rose tinted glasses!!!!
    As you got out an played so did I. But I remember well how many kids and nearly all parents did not want to play. I now see the same problem 4.5 generations later
    it’s nothing new just different excuses.
    Time restraints which just shows that with all the time saving devices available to everybody it will be the same type of person who do not want to play (my word for exercise).
    The parks are not safe ….. when I point out to anybody on this one that I found and still find every park in my town safe when I play with my children and any of their friends who are allowed to come out to play !!!!!
    You are right the eating and play scenario is so straight forward that even you should not be able to earn a penny out of the Youth Fitness Solution.

  9. As a pediatric adolescent registered dietitian and certified youth fitness specialist counseling hundreds of families and kids a year, I agree with you. Simple words, simple changes over time. However, you are missing the huge psychological component as to when a child, adolescent or parent has the means, mindset, motivation, skills, education & support system in place to make all those wonderful changes happen.
    If it were as simple and as blunt as just knowing the facts and putting all your advice into action there would not be an obesity epidemic. However, what about kids and parents basic beliefs about food and exercise. What about a teen who stopped drinking milk when they were four years old because their mother told them that milk makes you fat or the 14 year old boy who had sensory and texture issues and food jags that were never detected and has only been eating french fries and chicken nuggets for the past fifteen years because his parent gave up on setting eating and behavior rules and was not dedicated and consistent in offering new foods daily, weekly and monthly. What about the kids who would have never had a weight problem but developed one because their parents were thin and fit and had such an overwhelming fear of their kids being overweight that their over-restrictive parenting actually caused the problem. Think these types of cases are rare??? Think again, over 75% of american families have a few of the dysfunctionalities mentioned above. There are hundreds more I did not even mention. It’s not just about changing unhealthy habits that will lead to a healthier, happier fit lifestyle. It’s about changing peoples values and perception of what is a healthy lifestyle and then adopting those values and education and then put that into the practice to stimulate the changes you are talking about. obesity is far more complex than just hitting someone between the eyes with “tough love.” Yes we need to make everyone accountable for what they put into their mouths and how they move everyday. The key is how to do just that with each and everyone who needs it and be successful at it!

  10. Dwayne G says:

    Brian: I think you’re doing a great job. I think youth fitness has been over-looked for far too long. I agree with everyone’s comments about parents needing to be more responsible and pro-active with their children and youth. However, there are teh cases where some families are just trying to get by and parents want their kids to be healthy but struggle to make the time for themselves. Fitness professionals and recreation professionals need to be able to meet the needs of the kids and youth to fill the void created by parents not having the time or knowledge to educate and role model for their kids.

    Please keep making the information available all youth serving professionals!

  11. I couldn’t agree more, Brian. It’s not about quick fixes, crazy diets, or boring exercises in the gym. It’s all about getting kids moving and having fun. As a Pediatric NP, I know the medical profession, in general, does not spend enough time on preventative medicine. They need to talk with children and their parents on healthy eating and exercise, but often don’t. I know some pediatricians and NP’s who would love to spend more time on this, but as their reimbursement rates drop, they are forced to spend less time with each patient. Pediatric obesity is definitely a problem that has been overlooked too long and one that I am passionate about!

  12. Doc Wood says:

    I agree. I’ve been saying for a number of years that when a child is obese while under the protection of a parent that it is another form of child abuse. We punish dogs for doing bad things when most of the time we should be punishing the owner and it is the same with children. Parents should be held accountable for their childrens health and well being. Also the schools should be held negligent for doing away with physical education. Check out Ensworth School website. They have a PHYSICAL FITNESS DEPARTMENT. All schools should do this. How tough is it to have a program where students do kettlebell swings and Turkish Get Ups for 20 minutes 3x a day. I bet they could even get a good price on kettlebells from someone.

  13. Dean Milam says:

    I 100% agree with you. Part of my training clients are kids. I have seen a large increase in obese kids and there parents. I needs to start there, with there parents.

  14. Spida Hunter says:

    So everyone agrees parents need to step up! I can’t see no problem with that!

    Parents need to take responsibility for their parenting.

    Let’s be honest, parenting is HARD work at times & parents find justifications in what/how they parent due to their own bullshit!

    I do at times…..

    The reality is there is NO EASY FIX, however I believe at this point parents need to make adjustments in their own personal life in ALL ASPECTS to make true change of obesity, I mean let’s face it, obesity is the external problem of parents not being truthful/conscious/awareness!!

    Being “Truthful” opens up a can of worms as well…..Good luck to any parent on a defintation of truthfulness!

    But before you judge the parent, try and look through their eyes of HOW they see life/food/parenting/exercise/work and you’ll find that they probably think they are doing a great job!

  15. Terry says:

    I agree 100%. Just like everything else in a child’s life (i.e.education, fitness, healthy eating) it starts with their number one role model, their parents. How often do you hear someone tell a child they are just like their mother or father? It is a different world today than when we grew up, but the fundamentals are still the same. Enjoy some play time with your children, help them eat healthier, and lead by example.

  16. SoCal Brian says:

    Good stuff Brian, I agree w/all of what you wrote! I would like to add my 2 cents; What happened to that competitive edge we all had as youths? I was listening to a radio show here in Los Angeles and the host was telling a story of two kids on bikes racing down the street and when the other kid caught up at the stop, he was bragging how he’d won the race. A lady in a car at the stop was about to say something to the kid who was bragging,to stop it, and the radio host who was next to her, gave her a look of “don’t you dare”. We need to let kids be kids and compete with each other. I can remember “king of the hill” and “tackle the man with the ball”. We never had to worry about our weight and health, we ate when we were hungry or we were called in for supper. I used to love drinking water from the hose too!!!

  17. Mojo says:

    Right on! Each generation of parents continue to make it softer for their next generation, like it was tough for them to grow up. Holy COW!! The only generations that we can actually say had some tough times was pre WWII…Since then, and when I grew up, each generation ‘waters-down’ the physical health requirements for survival, when the opposite should be the norm. Why haven’t the Feds made this a no. 1 priority when the problems are stagnating right before their eyes. Where have the schools been? Their normal philosophy has been a dumbing down-attitude toward physical fitness and its definite link to mental and emotional growth. Just because you don’t laden down P.E. classes with a written exam each week, you think there isn’t any importance to being physically fit, vs. unfit! Our nation has failed to address the needs of our own people and because of this we see the epidemic of an unhealthy society of people. Pick an age group; the problems are located in each generational segment within our society. Can it be changed or corrected? Surely…but it will take as many generations to get it right as it has to make it wrong. Good Luck Everybody.

  18. Brian that is such a powerful message that should be embraced and utilized by our entire generation across the country and beyond. The increasing levels of childhood obesity and resultant disease is astonishing and must be stopped! Parents must open their eyes and acknowledge the fact that exercise and proper nutrition is not optional–it is mandatory. Our future generations are at risk if we don’t get this problem under control. Far too many parents are burying their children when it should be the other way around.

  19. Joel Garcia says:

    If you want to see the antithesis to everything that Brain is taking about go to Gophersports.com key work KidzPower hydraulic Circuit set. It is truly disgusting.

    Brian I saw your presentation at Long Beach this past weekend and it was an absolute thrill.

  20. Bob Lualhati says:

    Brian:
    Well said! I am a physical education instructor at a community college in Northern California. I have taught physical education and coached 7 years at the high school level, 2 years at the state university level and since 1970 at the community college level. I have a MA in Exercise Physiology and coached Track & Field and cross country. Since 1998 I only work part-time because in that year my daughter blessed me with grandchildren and I felt that since I had been working with everyone else’s kids for the last 35 years, it was time for me to work with my own grandkids. I was motivated for two reasons; 1)I wanted to be sure that my two grandsons had someone who wanted nothing more than to have the pleasure to simply love and play with them every day and; 2)Like yourself, I know that this overweight, obesity problem is all due to a great deal of laziness on the part of parents and a lackadasical attitude of some physical education instructors who find it much easier to simply “Throw the ball out” and not really “teach” their students just how important a physically active lifestyle really is, to not only their physical health but also their intellectual development! And today there is an avalance of data out there to support that idea! Back in 1983 when I was the division dean of physical education at our college I instituted our “Physical Education Evaluation Program (PEEP). What I did was develop a fitness testing program that every student who enrolled in a Physical Education HAD TO TAKE!! It was a short series of fitness tests that everyone regardless of age had to participate in and if they decided not to take the tests, they either received a grade of “incomplete” or had to drop the class. The tests were: 1)blood pressure & resting heart rate; 2)height & weight measurements to determine the students’ Body Mass Index (BMI); 3)skinfold measurement to determine percent body fat; 4)flexibility (sit & reach); 5)abdominal curl (sit ups) and; 6)heart recovery tests (three minute step test). To date we have tested 43,725 students (19,626 males(44.9%) and 24,099 females (55.1%). We are the ONLY post-secondary educational institution in the whole country that has such a requirement.
    When we first started the program about 32% of the population here at our college who took physical education classes were overweight or obese, but for the past few semesters, we’ve found that 55% of the population is either overweight or obese! And of the overweight population, almost 59% are obese. And of course, needless to say we find this simply appaling and see no other reason for it other than an inactive lifestyles and poor diets! And we see here at our college, that as the Center for Prevention and Disease Control has pointed out, it is getting worse every year!! When the Surgeon General says that 60%+ of American adults are either overweight or obese, I am not one bit surprised! And, we make sure that each student receives a “printout of his/her scores, pre and post and fully understands exactly why he/she has improved or gotten worse!
    Fortunately, 99% of the students improve over the semester and most of our physical education classes meet only 2 or 3 times a week and on the average, each student usually drops between 1.5 to 2 percent fat which means that they usually lose 4 pounds of fat and gain 2 pounds of lean body mass (more muscle and denser bones)! Students learn early that 99% of all fat is burned in their lean body mass which in turn makes the point that fat is Not lost by diet alone! Once the students realize this, they begin to see the importance of physical activity and understand there are “No shortcuts” to good health and a lasting productive life.
    I could probably go on about our findings for at least another 10,000 words but I fear that I’ve already overdone my welcome so I’m going to close with one final idea. Since I first started teaching and coaching full-time back in 1961 my students and athletes always ask me, “Coach, how much do you work out?” My answer has been the same even now that I am 76 years young, “I work out every day, 7 days a week, which amounts to a little over an hour a day!” Then of course, when the students hear that they always exclaim, “God coach, an HOUR EVERY DAY? Man, how do you find the time?” And to that I usually reply, “Man….what’s one hour? It’s one twenty-fourth of your day, AND if you think that your body is not worth at least some attention and 1/24 of your day than IT’S YOU, NOT ME that has the problem!”

  21. Guy McKim says:

    I must suggest that you have stated the situation ‘bang on’, as a child (now 58 and still playing rugby) I played ‘community based sports’ in three distinct seasons, and played all three sports – although not all that good, didnt have to have personal trainers to get us ready for national championship, I had my buddies (and dogs) to play with and a mother who said ‘go out and play’ every day, and did not own a tv until I was in junior high school – that lilfestyle is with me today!

  22. Luis P says:

    Good article Brian and I couldn’t agree more with you. It all starts at home. At 46 I have lived an active life because that is what I learned as a child. I direct a hospital based program tailored to the customer, I have a few obese teenagers and is sad that at such an early age they are having health issues. Please keep up the good work.

    Luis P

  23. Jerry Napp says:

    Brian,

    You are correct in your well written summary of the problem. Today the best “physical educators” are personal trainers. With only 10-15% of people active and trainers working with the upper 5% of the aleady active – the reach is not great enough. Most people need to discover the joy of being physical while young or it does not happen. We are looking at a generation that will have a lower life expectancy than the parents; with over one third of people overweight and pre-diabetic (and there is virtually no type 2 Diabetes in active people). Exercise is the best health assurance at any age. Promoting the joy in the journey is the only way to make important behavior changes stick.

  24. andy_english says:

    You must realize high academia does not value what you guys do. High Academia run •Schools •Colleges • Armed forces • Governments.
    These are the people given finances to budget, how do you think they allocate them, sport & health 1st if only …… and that goes the same with how they allocate their own time.
    I have lost count over the years of the examples of how the so called administrators and educators of our society have let us down.
    Unlike most on this board I make my living away from exercise, all my coaching is voluntary (qualified SAQ & Soccer Coach).
    I will give one example of how we in England get let down:
    Local council member spends £50,000 pounds to sponsor a leg of a bike race.
    His main reason:
    To encourage people to get on there bikes. (All the gold medals in China has not done that).
    Result:
    It was a work day …. The riders wizzed through to the finishing line in no time… packed up and left town. Even after many attempts to find out, it is impossible to find out if there is even one person who was inspired by this extravaganza.
    My opinion:
    10 No. £5000 grants offered to the most exiting & motivational local Sport / Exercise professionals would have been more measurable and successful.
    Note:
    The said councilor says he was a cycling enthusiast, but guess what nobody has ever before or after seen him giving his time to encourage the sport. Not even the school were he coerced the youngsters to pose for a photo, exitedly looking forward to the bike race.

  25. Donovan "DFitnessguy" Owens says:

    I agree…hands down. If my child was overweight and didn’t have a medical condition, the blame is on me.

    Stand up parents and take responsibility.

    No crutches or excuses needed.

    I believe every parent knows when their child is overweight. I also believe their are some parents that truly do not understand what to do about it. If that’s the case, that parent needs to step up and do what it takes to get educated.

  26. Dr. Kwame M Brown says:

    I saw someone say this:

    kettlebell swings and Turkish Get Ups for 20 minutes 3x a day

    We cannot prescribe our way out of this problem. We also must realize that there are still an awful lot of active kids out there. I see them everyday in the park I work at.

    What is needed here are “shifts”:

    1) A shift away from hypercompetitive, exclusion based, adult dominated youth sports. This alone can be held responsible for a good portion of the problem

    2) More time for parents at home. An economic structure that supports that in middle class areas

    3) A commitment from parents that this is as important or more important than the nice car they drive and the huge house they live in. I started life off in a college dormitory with 2 graduate student parents. I was happy because I had places to play, and because they played with me! Children need TLC, not things. A child is just as happy in a 1000 square foot home as they are in a 5000 square foot home. It is YOUR mood and the importance YOU place on things that matters most.

  27. jill bruyere says:

    I couldn’t agree more with all that you stated, Brian. This is exactly why I started a non-profit after school kids activity program in the Seattle area. In addition to providing a safe and active environment for the kids, I also spend a HUGE amount of time educating the kids on what it means to be healthy because they do not have a role model at home or school.

  28. Gwen Larsen says:

    Brian these words you wrote are why I feel priveleged to be part of the IYCA. It’s time for parent’s to step it up. Trouble is that the kids seem more willing to do it than their parents. This is why we “fight the good fight”.
    Thanks for lighting my fire for the day!!

  29. Brian Quick says:

    Amen brother! If all parents followed this advice, we would not even need to discuss problems in our health (sick) care system.

    BQ

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