Apparently our Kids are Conveniently Fat

I have a lot of things swirling in my head after reading this from

ATLANTA – Health officials say one reason so many American kids are overweight is that few have a nearby place to play and exercise.

Only about one in five homes have parks within a half-mile, and about the same number have a fitness or recreation center within that distance.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report also finds that fewer than one in five U.S. high school students get at least an hour of physical activity a day.

CDC says only about half of kids surveyed say it’s easy to get to playgrounds, jogging paths or other places to easily exercise. The CDC also says only 37 states require physical education for all grades.

I’m going to be very honest in this post. Isn’t the mindset that I’m hearing in this article a HUGE part of the obesity problem? Since when is “it’s not easy to get to the park” becoming a reason to let any of us off the hook? When did climbing a tree in your own backyard get eliminated as a ‘workout’ option? Lack of convenience…are you kidding me? Do some pushups in your own living room if you don’t want to get outside! Bear crawl, crab walk, or hop up your stairs like me and my son do every night on our way to bed. Inconvenient? Give me a break. Get a Wii if you have to. Just get moving.

Half of the kids surveyed are inconvenienced by not having a playground or jogging path easily accessible. Who cares that they don’t have a playground or jogging path? Have we so badly pigeonholed ‘working out’ that it is now defined as jogging? When is the last time you did a somersault? And, YES, I’m talking to the 50 year old attorneys who are reading this. I’m also talking to the 67 year old grandmothers and the 22 year old college students. Do 10 somersaults right now, in a row. Feel winded? Thought so. Did you get your heart rate up? Probably. Would you call this a workout? Why not?!?

If you couldn’t tell, childhood obesity fires me up. If fires me up because I believe these kids don’t have a choice. They eat what mom and dad buy. When I see an obese child, it breaks my heart. My wife was in line at the grocery store the other day with another family in front of her. All members of the family in front of her would be considered obese. I’m not trying to come across as rude or critical, just making an observation. My wife had strawberries, apples, zucchini, etc., you get the picture–real food. The family in front of her had chips, candy, cake mixes, basically NOTHING REAL on the conveyor belt. I’m not saying I eat healthy all the time. I eat some junk, I admit it. But it breaks my heart when in instances like this because the kids in that family don’t have a choice. They are simply eating what they’ve been given, and why wouldn’t they? It tastes great! There’s no nutritional value, but it sure does taste good!

I understand that the world we live in is different than it was 25 years ago (let alone 50, 100, etc.). We no longer have to kill our dinner to eat it. We don’t have to plant it, cultivate it, and harvest it to have our side dish. But that shouldn’t give us a free pass to eat junk and sit on our butts.

This post might sound a bit harsh, but this really strikes a nerve with me. This mentality is EXACTLY why we are where we are as a country. We have the most gyms of anywhere in the world yet also come in amongst the world leaders when it comes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and various types of cancer. How is that even possible? This mentality is also EXACTLY what we are fighting with The Egoscue Foundation and the Patch Project Initiative. We have GOT to get our children up and moving. By not asking them to move we are, quite simply, killing them. The fact that only 37 states have Physical Education required for all grade levels is a joke. Think PE is just a luxury that can be cut out of the budget? Then read Spark.

What Jamie Oliver did with The Food Revolution was amazing. What Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels do every week on The Biggest Loser is remarkable. But they, and those like them, are barely making a dent. The mindset has to change, and it has to change quickly. We can’t continue killing ourselves simply because we are inconvenienced.