I was reading an article, or I should say a commercial, in today's Wall Street Journal. This commercial pointed out the dangers of childhood obesity. I'm sure some of their facts are correct, but they don't apply to all.
In their opinion, heavy kids are at higher risk of developing allergies. I dispute that. I was a heavy, chubby, fat (choose your favorite adjective) child. I do not have, nor have I ever had any allergies. My son who at times was chubby also has not had any allergies.
This article/commercial also said that physical fitness is tied to academic success. Again I object. My son who is brilliant, was always at the top of the class, won a scholarship for high school and again later for college was the original couch potato. He did so well in elementary school that his principal wanted him to skip 8th grade and go right into a very prestigious scholarship high school in Manhattan. He chose not to and went to the high school of his choice and did very well.
Maybe I should have pushed him to play sports. If I had, maybe he'd be the next Bill Gates or a great scientist or the world's peacemaker. Should I apologize to him?
I don't believe that obesity is quite as bad as we're being told. No amount of legislation, label calorie counts, removal of soda and juice from schools will solve the problem. All of us, adults and children alike need more exercise. Until parents feel comfortable that their children playing outside are safe they will be couch potatoes and there will be a need for exercise. Just the simple act of putting sidewalks in rural areas will encourage walking which is a very good exercise.
I admit that I don't walk as much as I should, or would even like. Rural areas and suburbia are just not "foot friendly". It's annoying to get into my car and drive less than 1/2 mile to get to a store. If we had a sidewalk I could walk to the store, help the environment, save gas and get more exercise. But, that's a campaign for another day.