Youth Fitness and Politics… I Never Expected This

youth fitness

Mixing Youth Fitness & Politics doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

 

But today, I’m taking a chance and risking a lot.

Here’s the thing, I’m fed up, overwhelmed by stupid and entirely annoyed.

 

But all at the same time, I really don’t know which side of the fence I sit on.

 

I sat glued to the TV playing absently in the background of my gym during a workout last week.

 

The opening sentence of a commercial caught my attention:

 

“The government thinks my child is fat, so decided it wants me to pay for that!!”

 

Yup… I was listening HARD after hearing that.

 

And here’s the gist of the message contained in the 90 second commercial:

 

Because of the rise in youth obesity, certain States within the U.S. have started adding additional taxes to the purchase of items such as soft drinks, sugar waters and certain ‘sports’ drinks.

 

Many families are against it, suggesting that the government has absolutely no place in deciding what they should or shouldn’t buy based on making some goods over-expensive with tax and therefore potentially out of budget.

 

Now… Here’s my take…

 

Politically, I want the government interfering with my life as little as possible.

 

Safe neighborhoods, freedom from crime and terrorism, clean drinking water and that’s about it!

 

I’ll take care of the rest myself.

 

So at first glance, I want NOTHING to do with specific tax measures placed on certain foods. Even the unhealthy ones.

 

It just doesn’t feel right.

 

BUT…

 

At what point is an external solution necessary in some capacity?

 

If parents continue their ignorance and/or stupidity, where will that leave their child in 10 years?

 

I’ve always considered Youth Obesity to be the most acceptable form of child abuse – and if you agree with that, then forced outside assistance is NECESSARY.

 

A child doesn’t ask to be beaten by his Mom or Dad.

 

But he or she also doesn’t ask to weigh 100 pounds by the age of 7 either.

 

And if a child was being beaten physically, as a society we would ALL want to run to the rescue of that young, defenseless person.

 

Why wouldn’t we here?

 

And here’s another way of thinking about it…

 

In many States, CIGARETTES have become an incredibly taxed purchase as a direct way of reducing smoking in both young and adult populations.

 

If they can’t afford them, they can’t smoke them.

 

Anyone complaining about that government intrusion?

 

So… I sit undecided (although leaning towards one direction).

 

What say you on this hot youth fitness topic?

 

Please, don’t be shy or brief – say what you feel:

 

 

– Brian

 

  

33 Responses

  1. Monique says:

    I think that it is a good idea for taxes to be placed on soft drinks, sugar waters and certain ‘sports’ drinks to prevent children from buying them but, i also think that they will continue to buy it no matter how much additional taxes they add on. it begins at home with the parents, and if parents are not eating healthy and the children will not.

    Another thought: the government may add on taxes to bring in extra money because they know it will still purchase unhealthy food. it is a billion dollar industry

  2. Brian says:

    The real point here is not money/taxation it is actually the general health and wellbeing of the Nation (Particularly future generations).
    Awareness of the real issues is key – Here in the UK we have messages on cigarette packs indicating potential consequences of using the product within (“Smoking kills” or “Smoking causes cancer”) If people still wish to smoke they will but I think a significant portion of society are deterred by these messages.
    A point of sale message on the dangers of eating high sugar/fat content products may just give parents enough encouragement (Backbone to stand up to pressure from their children) to buy less of these products for their kids – Its still their choice.

  3. Lorraine says:

    If they increase the price of ‘fast/unhealthy’ food will then decrease the price of ‘healthy’ foods?
    A statement often used by parents is that the ‘healthy’ food is too expensive!
    It’s all a balance.

  4. Ed says:

    Having an added tax on unhealthy food choices is a good idea. More importantly, the extra money raised through the tax should be used on health related programs that will have more of an influence in the young persons future.
    This will be a two pronged attack at the obesity problem.

  5. john moon says:

    Brave man but spot on.Tax all goods on their degree of indulgence,no income tax only a one off yearly fee to live in the country.Then you will know who are neglecting their responsibilitys

  6. Pete Cunningham says:

    Clean drinking water, clean air it seems there is only one side that is willing to commit the necessary resources to these important protections. The production of unhealthy foods in the pursuit of profit is just one other way in which the interest of corporate America runs counter to the health and well being of the American people and is just another example of why we need the government to assist in many ways to protect that health and well being

  7. Diane says:

    I think the gov is reaching for something to help…and this is what they have come up with.
    Another tax. I can understand their thought process, and to some degree understand. I agree with Monique. The kids will still buy it.
    The gov is trying to do something to address the issue of youth obesity—so if they do impose this tax— take the money and utilize it on more youth programs. Give all youth a free membership to gyms…..have more educational programs about nutrition etc. But it starts with the parents too—the support system. If they are not on board it becomes more difficult for the youth to overcome this obstacle.

    Then there is the other side—the people whose kids are not in the category of having the issue of obesity. So we impose a tax across the board. Are they being punished because they know how to limit their intake of these items? Sometimes the little guy reaps what the big guy sows. So what is “fair” to everyone?

    Yes there is an obesity problem in our country and it is not just our kids….maybe our gov needs to do something ….but it doesn’t always have to be a tax. What other options are there? I’m sure we all could come up with some.

  8. Dan says:

    The real purpose for taxing food is not to controll food choice but to increase tax revenues. Where do all the cigarettes taxes and lawsuit monies go, not to stoping smoking.
    You have to have education and personal responsibility. Your not going to get that from government, just look at our government run schools. Cutting out physcal education, serving poor food setting poor example with there level of fitness. Maybe we should tax them for the example they set. Maybe the government should set the training standards for the fitness professional and tax any training methods that differ. There are bad fitness professionals maybe the government should step in tax the bad ones. Do you want government deciding or individual deciding. Of course the fitness professional is motivated by the pursuit of profit maybe we better let the government decide.

  9. Jacob says:

    Two things:

    2. Being a bit picky, I assume that you meant that child obesity is the form of child abuse least frowned upon, or accepted. Made me stare at the screen when I read “acceptable”, but got it on the re-read…

    3. I am currenlty employd by our National Sports Council as a High Performance Coach in my particular sport. My direcly given task is to prepare athletes to go and win international championships. The indirect task given is to motivate children and young people to get up and going. Spend “a little money on me” and save “a little bit more, at least, on future health care bills”.

    As an outsider, looking in at the situation in the USA (and having worked for a number of years in the USA & Canada with two contrasting systems) I am astounded at what americans often claim as the ‘American way’ with the least possible amound of interferance from outside agencies and a sense of “I will take care of me and mine”. This was a neccesity during the 19th century out on the frontier, and part of 20th century society. The world has moved on, and if the USA as a country is going to have any chance of dealing with a massive budget deficit, declining public health, loss of productivity etc, I can’t see how there can not be “outside measures” imposed on those who abuse the notion of “liberty”. Fine, if these people lived by the sword and died by the sword in the sense that they took responsibility for their lifestyle choices, and paid for the diabites care, hip and knee repacements, special needs equipment, respiratory care etc, I don’t think I would be so confused by what I see. Being european, and living in a society (for a considerable time in one that your Tea Party crowd would describe as “Socialist”) where it is accepted that we have a common responsibility to look after one another. BUT, the price we pay for this is a degree of conformity. If I do something that is know or generally accepted to be against the norm, there will be a sanction. If American parents persist in feeding their children the crap that poses as nutrition, somewhere down the line the rest of you are going to have to pay for it. This is a given. If you pay for it directly, through taxes, through job losses, remains to be seen, but pay you will.

    Do I suggest that everyone has to conform to one single standard? No, what I am hoping is that when Americans debate these issues, they do so in less emotive terms and in more rational terms.

    End of the rant, thank you for your attention (if you got to this point).

  10. jim says:

    Personally, I am quite conservative. I really take offense at that an ever encroaching govt desires to make every decision for me.

    While obesity is an epidemic, we must worry about the slippery slope. Give the govt an inch and it will attempt to take a mile and more.

    I am very capable of making decision for what my boys put in their bodies just as I am capable of deciding what type of healthcare coverage for my family.

    With the govt, “becareful what u wish 4!”

  11. Mike says:

    Brian,
    I am a High School Physical Education teacher so I see on a daily basis the results of poor nutritional habits. However, your first thought is the correct one. There are very few things that government is ALLOWED to do by the Constitution. Being nanney to admittedly uneducated or unconcerned parents is NOT one of those responsibilities.

  12. Terry says:

    I do not want any government deciding on what is indulgent, extra or just necessary. And then trying alter my purchases based on their power to charge taxes as they decide on what is good for me or not. It more than unfortunate that many parents use unhealthy foods to satisfy their kids wants. I do not want schools or doctors becoming agents of the police reporting ‘child abuse’ because a kid is overweight. The vast majority of parents, especially reading a web site like this, want the absolute best for our kids, and all kids. And hopefully all of us would step in and stop physical or verbal child abuse when we see it. I do not belive using the taxing power of the government is the best way to persuade or change other parents’ behavior. Education and involvement are much better, but harder ways to do that.

  13. Rob says:

    I am absolutely against it, but not because I think its a bad idea, I don’t. I’m against it because of who would be making the decision as to what is bad and needs to be taxed higher. It won’t stop with sugar and soda. The easier we make it to raise taxes on anything, the more the government will be encouraged to do so as a way of finding money. I do not believe the cost of cigarettes has reduced smoking. In my opinion, what has reduced it is the inability of smokers to have a cigarette indoors or in public. I’m not suggesting we do that with sugar, simply want to point out that I don’t think it was the higher taxes that made the difference. Encouraging kids to stay active by mandating it in our schools would be a better approach, but gym classes and sports are the first things to be cut from the budget.

  14. Will says:

    Spot on Brian- with the greatest respect, I often find what I read/ hear from America COMPLETELY gobsmacking! I am TOTALLY disinterested in politics, but I do have a position on certain things & it seems to me that large sectors of the American population have got things ares about front as dfar as health care & obesity relate to freedom of choice & expression etc. Your kids & poor DO NOT have a choice- it is thrust upon them by their parents/ circumstance. To deny them basic health care/ healthy meals & a good start in life because ‘the Govt’ decided, and it offends an ignorant & misplaced sense of ‘freedom’, rather than supporting a decision because its morally responsible & right, given the aforementioned stupidity and ignorance just blows my mind. I did an internship in the US some years ago & was offered the chance to stay & become an American citizen- I opted out because of attitudes like this! Add to that a fast food industry that is making BILLIONS of dollars & funding this stupidity for their own gain…

    I still have great friends in the States and think its a wonderful country but given the choice, I exercise my freedom RESPONSIBLY for the good of my family by making good health a priority and supporting any initiatives, Govt driven or not to promote health & wellness in the people around me…

  15. Matt says:

    Bottom line is this! Government, Big Food Corporations, and FDA are all in this together! Bribes, pay-offs and giving jobs to family members that aren’t reported is common place! These food companies don’t care about the health of the people otherwise they wouldn’t put the crap in there, pay off the lawmakers to allow certain ingredients to be mislabeled and know they are addictive! Example- big push by they corn associations to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to corn sugar! If you want things to change it starts at home and with some education! When I see my young athletes with the sugar crap they bring to class, I discuss the problems with it, let the parents know and they never bring it in again! We Dave too much government and we don’t need more! We need educated parent and children to make better decisions and know WHY they need to make them!

  16. Brock says:

    Wow, you hit the nail on the head Brian, I’m pretty much in complete agreement here. On the one hand, I want as little government intervention as possible, but on the other hand, something has to be done. And in the long run, everyone ends up paying for it anyway in the form of higher medical premiums, etc. It’s really a no-win either way. And as you said, things like cigarettes are heavily taxed as well, because of their extremely negative health consequences, so why shouldn’t junk food be treated the same? The only problem there is where it will stop. At that point, the government will get to decide what is “bad” and what is “good”, and as we’ve seen with the food pyramid, well, they’re not very good at that.

  17. Chris says:

    Even further to the point is that consumption tax is just a further layer of market manipulation to correct the distortions created by existing programs.

    “Our agriculture system makes producing fat and sugar relatively inexpensive, notes Lawrence, MD, director of the School’s Center for a Livable Future (CLF). “We have a food industry that is scientifically designed to addict us to a combination of fat, sugar and sodium as high as it can be in calories,” he says.

    The solution: Change the system. Admittedly no small task, says Lawrence, the Center for a Livable Future Professor. He says he’d start with the Farm Bill. Many of his colleagues in health policy and nutrition agree. ”

    http://magazine.jhsph.edu/2010/fall/features/obesityland/page_1/

  18. Carl THE Trainer says:

    WOW! Big topic. I usually try not get into political topics with my clients (that is not always easy). However, I DO indulge in the opportunity to express my opinions when it comes to personal responsibility or lack there of. We have become a society where all our decisions need to be made for us. From Free lunches to free after school care, the gov’t is intruding deeper and deeper into our lives. As far as this topic is concerned: “NO NEW TAXES”. What needs to happen is education of both parents and children. And we need to STOP making it OK to be overweight. With all the Muffin tops out there and the clothes just getting bigger, we are making it more acceptable to be large. We feel sorry for them or tell them it’s not their fault. It needs to not be OK and WE need to take a leadership roll in changing the lives of the children around us one at a time.

    In short, the gov’t does nothing efficiently and all that money will go into many different pockets on its way up to the state.

    “He who is willing to sacrifice his freedom for a feeling of security deserves neither” Ben Franklin I think

    Carl THE Trainer

  19. Richard says:

    It seems after the 60’s people abdicated their role as parents and wanted government to control their children. creating new taxes on sodas and “junkfood” is not the answer.
    My son does not drink sodas on a regular basis or sugar laden treats because my wife and I refuse to buy them.

    We don’t have to worry about video game violence since we haven’t not bought him a video game system, and he is 11 years old.

    Parents can and should take the lead in their childrens health.

  20. Mike says:

    I do not buy those “foods” so I will not be affected if they are taxed. That being said, the government is partially responsible for allowing many of these “foods” into the food supply. I agree that childhood obestiy is abuse but how can the government step in to prevent it when it also benefits from corporatism. We need people in government willing to say no to special interest groups and corporations.

  21. Mike says:

    Perhaps that extra tax money could go to more tv ads for promoting exercise as they have it already not smoking…or the extra money could go to building more recreational facilities and hiring the IYCA to run them…

  22. Brendan Murray says:

    Any government should spend money on educating people as to the garbage they and their children consume.
    I have found that the healthiest foods are also the cheapest, provided that you do a little work in preparation and cooking.
    However, that remark will not be popular with Multi-national Corporations, as there is not a big profit margin on cheap food.

  23. Michael says:

    Utterly ridiculous! Anti fitness and maekably evil…this statement. Where has the exercise and fitness education gone?
    There is no price or tax that can be attached this. How sick!

  24. Dr. Kwame M. Brown says:

    Um…yeah. This is a big one. BG, you know I have NO problem getting political. However distasteful it is, we can’t get away from the fact that the trajectory of children’s lives is HEAVILY influenced by “politics”. I would rather discuss decision making though.

    For those who hold the conspiracy view that government, FDA, and corporations are all in this “together” – it is almost impossible to form a monolithic conspiracy. We are really talking about individuals and committees making decisions on what they see. I have worked in local government and work closely now with federal government. I have also worked in private industry. I say this: YOU try making those decisions to “blow it all up” and start over.

    One thing is for sure – ideologies very rarely (on either side of the equation) solve problems. They just give people a false “I’m right and if we would just do this one thing” security blanket. So this approach is useless.

    Someone mentioned above that the “small government, leave me alone” view comes from a different world in a different time. This is unequivocally correct. That ship has sailed people. The world and citizens are so interconnected and structured so differently, that a philosophy like that just flat out doesn’t work. The Reagan philosophy of personal responsibility has given us: 1) early specialization in youth sports 2) the most egregious concentration of wealth in the 20th century 3) parents feeling alone and without support – we are the only society EVER in history to define the responsibility of raising the child as solely the parent’s. Furthermore – the constitution itself DOES provide the ability of the federal government to make interventions in extreme circumstances with the commerce clause. Look it up. The Health Care bill probably went too far with a mandate citing that clause – but this tax idea is WELL within the parameters of that mandate. so if you think that this is unconstitutional, you would be incorrect (sorry).

    It takes the village.

    The fact is – cigarette taxes were highly successful, but likely wouldn’t have been without education.

    If they do initiate the tax plan:

    This will take a multi-pronged approach. Write your congressional representatives – take the time to write a hand written letter NOT email, and push for the tax revenue to be used specifically for interventions.

    I think a lot of you on this blog would be surprised at the number of people in federal government AND in corporate America that actually care and knock themselves out trying to solve these problems. Things are rarely simple when you actually have to do the work.

    People talk about “small government” solutions – we had a largely unregulated free market for the past 40 years. This is precisely what produced all of these problems – a “me” philosophy and an unbridled chomping at the bit race toward profit at all costs.

    Government cannot solve these problems on it’s own. What it actually takes (from someone who is actually working on the inside) – PARTNERSHIPS between government, business, and communities of individuals (not individuals alone). This is happening right now folks. Check out the fresh food financing initiative in Philadelphia, PA.

    Taxes alone will not accomplish this, but the fact is, our citizenry sadly has not assumed the mantle as of yet for making lifestyle changes.

    Furthermore, we are not founded on the principles of “swim or die”. So the fact is, if your child lives an unhealthy life and becomes unproductive due to sickness / incapability – we WILL all foot the bill regardless. It is far cheaper to foot the bill in advance than after the fact. And that statement is not moral or ideological, it is purely economical.

  25. Anon says:

    The problem is that the government gives huge amounts of money to farmers to produce unhealthy food, all those 10s or hundreds of billions of dollars of big Ag subsidies end up as cheap corn syrup. So the price of soda is already low due to the government. But big AG has a chokehold on both parties, famers are the biggest welfare cases in the country, which would not be so awful if it wasn’t directly connected to obesity.

    So a tax on sugary drinks is a small step towards putting the price back where it should be.

    Now if all the tea partiers would swear to god to eliminate Ag subsidies I would vote for them in a second. But their candidates are owned by big ag just like all the rest.

  26. Liz says:

    I’m all for taxation on junk food to subsidize the cost of healthy food. I went shopping on Sunday to the total of $200.00 for a family of two…what did I buy – organics and produce…no processed food except yogurt milk and cheese…no meat and no junk! So tax away just help those of us out that are trying to buy healthy but are finding the cost ridiculous!

  27. Terrible diet is easily the #1 reason for obesity in this country… That’s what makes America the fattest country in the world. I believe adding a tax on certain foods and inexpensive foods will not effect weather people buy them or not. One reason is people simply look at their eating habits as something they can easily change if they wanted to. They will pay the extra few cents and continue to eat bad. What needs to happen to reverse the problem is make people aware of the consequences of their actions. they no the food is bad but don’t know how bad so if we were able to find an effective way to drop some knowledge on their butts, it might get the point across. Everyone wins… except for the government who wants to further tax us.

  28. Andrew says:

    From an outsiders point of view (i live in New Zealand) there is no doubt Americans have a HUGE reputation when it comes to obesity. I am unsure whether taxing food is the right approach but there is no doubt that the government needs to recover the costs of supporting obese people in the health care system. I would be supportive of the tax if the money when to a just cause, i.e. paying for fantastic trainers to show how fun and exciting exercise can be!!!

    Now get back to work team we have a lot of people to help!!

    Good luck to all of you superstars making a difference out there

  29. Kim Simonson says:

    Brian,

    I feel exactly the way you do about government interference, and the way we abuse our children with atrocious diets in this country. There is so much I can say about this subject, but one of the simplest ways that I look at it is that fast food, sugary beverages, unhealthy foods of any kind are things we should not be eating on a regular basis anyway. If one is bothered by the increase, then they should check their parenting skills.

    Thanks for the opportunity Brian.

    Kim Simonson, CSCS
    KTS FITNESS AND PERFORMANCE

  30. Well Brian, you said “don’t be shy or brief” so this post is neither.

    I’m not in support of the tax. While I agree childhood obesity is a major health problem, this tax merely deals with a symptom and not the cause. It makes politicians feel that they’re “helping kids” and gain some political points in the process. In the long run, it will cause more harm than good. A good example is in Ontario, Canada. A few years ago, the government mandated Daily Physical Activity (DPA) in all schools. It sounds great, but in reality, it amounts to 10 minutes of classroom (not gymnasium) movement. The politicians can say they are doing their part in battling obesity and parents now don’t encourage physical activity at home because their kids “already get it at school.” Getting back to this tax, why target soda only? Why not chocolate bars? Why not sugar cereals? Why not slurpees? How about powder Kool-Aid…when mixed, you have to add one to two cups of sugar…isn’t that a sugar drink? Sugar drinks are something easily identified by the public; consequently, political points will be scored. While sugar drinks may contribute to obesity, they are not the cause. In the last 10 years there’s been an 80% increase in belly fat in 2-5 year olds…how many 2 year olds consume excessive amounts of soda and sports drinks? In Great Britain, several hundred Grade Six students’ physical fitness levels were tested in the 1990s; youth obesity was minimal and not an issue. Ten years later, another several hundred Grade Six students’ physical fitness levels were tested from the same demographic area, and essentially both groups were the same; youth obesity was again minimal and not an issue: 95% of the 2nd group COULD NOT MATCH the fitness levels of the 1990s group. For me, this speaks volumes in determining the cause of youth obesity. This tax will merely remove the responsibility from where it belongs: with the parents…and it will do nothing to educate the public and parents of what needs to be done.

    I know this post is long, but I’ve included below one of my articles published in several newspapers. It sums up my thoughts about youth obesity and physical fitness.

    YOUTH FITNESS BEGINS WITH THE FAMILY
    By Michael Mroczek, Youth Fitness Specialist

    130%. That was the percentage increase of belly fat in 18‐year‐old girls in a ten year span between the 1990s and the 2000s. For boys between 2 and 5 years and girls between 6 and 11 years of age, there was an 80% increase. The average increase across the youth age range was over 60% (Pediatrics, November 2006).

    It is no surprise that this increase correlates with a significant decrease in the activity levels and healthy eating in children. Further, it is not a surprise that key culprits cited in this situation are television, video games, and the computer screen. What is surprising is how adults overlook the significant role they have
    played in creating a generation of inactive children with poor eating habits.

    Let’s face it. We are a society of convenience, or perhaps more accurately, inconvenience. It is inconvenient to walk to the mall, so we conveniently ride. It is inconvenient to cook a meal, so we opt for the convenience of fast food. A daily fitness activity is inconvenient so we conveniently make excuses. And
    when inactivity and poor diet inconvenience our health and lives, we conveniently blame it on heredity or the environment.

    When it comes to fitness and healthy eating, children are simply doing what they have been taught and permitted to do. Adults tell children to eat more fruits and vegetables, yet the typical adult eats only two each day. Adults criticize children for watching too much television and drinking too much soda, yet adults
    think nothing of sitting in front of the television and eating junk food and drinking alcohol. Is it realistic to assume that children do not notice these things?

    The drop‐off in youth fitness levels should not be a surprise to anyone. This is what society has nurtured over the past three decades. Over that time period, the concept of physical fitness was replaced with the concept of physical activity; in other words, being physically active meant being physically fit. Society
    essentially passed along the message that a person could be healthy with less effort. As proven by today’s statistics, that message has not worked.

    Numerous studies have shown there are significant differences in health benefits between fitness and activity. Those studies found that while sedentary individuals benefitted from physical activity, more significant health impacts occurred when physical activity focused on increasing physical fitness levels.

    It is readily apparent that something must be done. If children’s activity levels and eating habits are to change, then adults must change. Youth fitness cannot be viewed as an activity, but rather, must be viewed as a life‐style. And to be effective, the entire family has to be an active part of that life‐style.

  31. Interesting subject, which will raise many view points, but what is correct and what is wrong. Being in the UK this tax is not in place but I’m sure it will. As mentioned before, fast food in a multi billon £ business so its not going to go away overnight. I believe it is education for the children that is necessary, eating habits need to be changed and fast, exercise needs to be instigated into there lives. Adverts need to be making people aware of the damage that fast food and too much food will cause.
    How much time a week is a child active, ie not sat down at school, on a bus going 10min journey home and the big one not sat on a Playstation, DS etc, these are major worries. These children need to be more active, parents need to be more proactive.

  32. Larry Wood says:

    All of the politics and debate and government intrusion will mean nothing and make very little difference with our obesity issue. Take away some of the motionless hours kids have with video games and television, make a sound science based physical education program a mandatory period in every school from 1st grade through 12th grade and you will make a serious impact on childhood obesity. New taxes will get nothing done because the money will go to no program that will assist those who work with our kids in such capacities. It’s simple, just get our kids moving without exception.

  33. Dr. Kwame M. Brown says:

    Larry:

    You say no amount of politics or debate or government “intrusion” will be helpful. Let’s address those one by one.

    1. Politics and debate: How do you think school policy gets made? Through politics and debate my friend.

    2. You talk about “taking away” the motionless hours. Who is going to do that? Parents? They haven’t so far, my friend. But I do still hold out hope that parents will wake up. We are all part of an effort to make that happen.

    3. Government intrusion? You use the word “mandatory” with regard to physical education. How is that not “intrusion”? I will also add that this must start in early childhood, not 1st grade. 1st grade is already an uphill battle for many kids. Trust me on that one.

    4. You say the money will go to no program that will assist those who work with our kids. How do you know this?

    5. You say, “get our kids moving without exception”. That sounds simple until you actually have to make that happen. As one of the main people trying to do that, I take exception when people act as if it’s so easy.

    There are a lot of moving parts here. I hope we don’t need a tax increase to accomplish this, but we may end up needing it to pay for the future health issues in our kids when they grow up if we don’t get busy now.

    Larry, what specifically are you doing to help with this for every day kids and families? That may seem like a smart alecky question from my above words, but I assure you it isn’t. I want to know, and more importantly, I want everyone on here to know what you are doing. The more that we inform each other of our individual efforts, the more everyone realizes one more thing can be and is being done.

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