On Facebook one of my cousins linked to a post by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, about the need for all kids to do sport to combat childhood obesity. This is something I fundamentally disagree with: kids being forced to do sport as a method of weight control. More relevant would be for parents to teach their kids about food, about healthy eating choices and exercise. Note that I said exercise not sport!
As someone who hated sport at school, as a total waste of the time that I could use for reading, I do so disagree with this. I still hate sport, even more so probably as a result of being forced to do it at school.
Exercise is a different thing. Walking yes, I enjoy very much, and we do need to encourage kids to walk more - walking to school - like I did as a child a mile each way - it is good exercise! But the whole sport thing, that leaves me cold. Instead of forcing kids to "do sport" we need to explore other options. Not everyone is interested, so why force it down our kids' throats?
Those who want to do it will do so out of choice, in the same way as those who want to do art or ballet or music will do so, those who don't should not be made to do so!
Claiming that school sport is the only way to address childhood obesity is totally wrong. What would be more sensible to to address nutrition, education about healthy eating, about all the additives etc that go into prepared foods that affect the way our bodies process foods.
We are omnivores, which mean we are designed to eat meat and vegetables and fruit. We are not designed to eat E-numbers, artificial colours, flavours, chemicals, preservatives, processed fats like margarines and butter substitutes and cooking oils, GMO foods, etc etc etc.
All the artificial sweeteners which are now being used instead of sugar actually worsen the problem, as they interfere with the way your body handles sugars and the cravings for sugar, and have adverse effects on your brain's functions. Yet try and find drinks without Aspartame or acesulfame K and you will struggle!
Bring back domestic science in schools so that kids learn about healthy eating. If parents and kids learn how to cook from scratch using proper ingredients, not eating fast food from McBurgers or ready meals from the supermarket, it will help. It takes little more time to cook a meal from scratch than it does to heat up a ready meal, and more importantly, you know what goes into it.
If you are serious about healthy food, do away with your chips, your ice cream, scrap your sweets, cakes, biscuits, crisps, all those other snacks. Eat fruit, eat fresh vegetables - eat 'em raw where you can, they taste great and do you far more good! Limit potatoes and pasta to a couple of times a week. Try rice instead. Eat good quality meat, raised organically or ethically. Choose low fat options, check the % of fat in it. Minced beef at 23% fat isn't a good option!
Balance your diet, don't over eat, walk every day, play sport if you choose to, but as a choice not as a requirement!
<puts soapbox away>