Appearing as a Second Life 3D virtual-world avatar at Mayo Clinic’s “Transform 2010” symposium (watch the video here), Mrs. Q — a teacher and the anonymous author of the blog “Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project” — told the story of how her unique health mission has come to be. She’s determined to help people understand just how sick our “healthy” school lunches really are.
Mrs. Q has sparked the interest of child health advocates around the country. Thanks to programs like First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative” and Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution,” the nation is paying more attention to childhood obesity and school lunch reform.
Mrs. Q’s blog was started because of her own experiences with school meals after she ate the food prepared at school because she forgot her lunch at home. She keeps her identity a secret due to fear of losing her teaching job. Read more »
As a cardiologist and advocate for healthy living through exercise, the bleak news of rising childhood obesity hits me hard. But as an endurance athlete well versed in the inflammatory effects of excessive exercise, and a coach of middle school children, recent news reports on the overtraining of American youth is equally troublesome.
The overtraining of the young American athlete has risen to the level of capturing the attention of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I planned on letting this New York Times piece pass quietly, as yet another documentation of how adults are either explicitly or implicitly drilling out the young athlete — sacrificing fun at the alter of performance. Little League-like overzealousness is old news dating back to my era, I thought. But I just couldn’t help myself. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*
“Play, Incorporating Animistic and Magical Thinking Is Important Because It: Fosters the healthy, creative and emotional growth of a child; Forms the best foundation for later intellectual growth. Provides a way in which children get to know the world and creates possibilities for different ways of responding to it. Fosters empathy and wonder.” — Rachel Carson, “A Sense of Wonder”
Remember “Red Light, Green Light,” “One-Two-Three,” “Tag, You’re It,” “Mother, May I?” or “Kickball?” These are just some of the good old-fashioned outdoor games kids used to play, and they are making a comeback. There’s nothing better than the sound of kids playing outdoors. Even kids playing outside making up their own games can bring them a lot joy and can be great exercise. With all the technology that surrounds us today, it’s great to see kids playing in the park and in their backyards.
It’s no secret that outdoor play and fresh air are great for kids’ overall physical and emotional well-being. In fact, a study in the journal Pediatrics concludes that children ages 8 and 9 who had more than 15 minutes of recess had better classroom behavior. This study suggests that school children in this age group should be provided with daily recess. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*
Kids are like dogs — you can train them until they’re too old to train. Then they’re going to do whatever they want.
The key to getting kids to exercise is to make it fun for them. But they aren’t going to exercise if it isn’t made a part of their normal routine. It’s up to adults to train them.
Mrs. Happy and I had the joyous opportunity of inviting our 10-year-old niece to her first-ever running event. She had never ever run in a race before. We did the two-mile race and she loved it. And amazingly, she finished without stopping — not even once.
Our nation is raising a nation of fat and lazy kids because we’re lazy adults. We drive everywhere. We sit at our desks. We get food on the run. We watch a lot of television. We surf the Net a bunch. And we have stopped moving. We have literally stopped moving. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*