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Life Lessons

Childhood Obesity

In this article from the New York Times, we learn that New York City, in an effort to limit the amount of fat and sugar eaten by students, has clamped down on school bake sales.

This gets your attention on two levels. Not only do we hear another alarm about childhood obesity, but we also see a fundraising avenue dried up.

Obesity first. According to the article, the city’s Education Department says roughly 40 percent of the city’s elementary and middle school students are overweight or obese.

Of course, the question is why? Is it diet? Or is it all the time spent in front of screens of various kinds: televisions, computers, cell phones, etc.

It’s both. According to the World Health Organization, the key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.

Whether or not you agree with New York’s decision, give the city credit for recognizing a serious problem.

Once again, according to the WHO:

“Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. The health consequences range from increased risk of premature death, to serious chronic conditions that reduce the overall quality of life. Of especial concern is the increasing incidence of child obesity.”

As coaches, we can hep by making sure that kids want to spend time in the gym. Any activity — running, jumping, throwing, climbing — can help cut into the sedentary lifestyle.

As for fundraising, our team has already held one this season to help defray the cost of entering a tournament. I supported the cause by eating a sugar cookie.


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