Schools cut PE classes for points despite rise in obesity


Have a read of this newspaper article one of my regulars forwarded onto me:

http://www.independent.ie/education/latest-news/schools-cut–pe-classes-for-points-despite-rise-in-obesity-2494390.html

Here’s the closing paragraph of the article:

“A report on obesity produced for the Department of Health and Children by the ESRI last year found that 90pc of post-primary students were not meeting the recommended minimum of 120 minutes of PE per week.”

After reading it I did a very quick google search for some statistics on childhood obesity in Ireland. Here’s a couple of things that came up:  

Childhood obesity: the extent of the problem among 6-year-old Irish national school children.
(
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21083692)
I’ll give you the important part:
“Overall, 27% of 6-year-olds were classified as either overweight or obese. A significantly greater …proportion of girls are overweight or obese compared with boys (31% compared with 23%). “

Thats 6 year old kids! At that age their only influence is their parents, this changes as they age and enter the school system. Their influence now broadens to incorporate teachers and peers, but of course parents will always be the most fundamental influence. In other words, their parents are setting poor examples.

By the time kids reach their late teens, ie leaving cert age, the majority of their behavior patterns are set, they are well on the path to who they will become, even if they haven’t realised it yet.
If they are still overweight at this point, and have never been given the opportunity and influence to develop an interest in physical recreation, they will remain obese, becoming ever more so.

The old adage “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” is NOT a bullshit old wives tail, a fat sluggish body often encapsulates a fat sluggish brain, a brain that can’t fubction properly because the hormone system in the body is all out of whack leading to a lack of fuel getting into the little grey cells.
Yes, there is the other extreme, the mindless jock, but hey, we need athletes! Every person I have trained and brought to a reasonable level of physical capability has noted an improvement in moods, mental clarity and focus.

Here’s some more from www.ihf.ie 

•300,000 Irish Children are Obese.
•This number increases by 10,000 annually.
•1 in 5 Irish children are obese.
•The World Health Organization (WHO 1998) report shows that the prevalence of both adult and child…hood obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide.
•11.6% and 13% of all Irish girls and 10.5% and 9.2% (5-12 years) of boys* are either overweight or obese.

So with these kind of stats readily available, schools still think it’s ok to cut back on physical activity!
I was told a while ago by another of our members that their kid wasn’t allowed to run during the sports day egg and spoon race incase they fell over.
 
So how exactly was it a race?
 
Why do we celebrate mediocrity, hide away from competition and avoid anything that may cause our bodies and minds to adapt.
 
We respond to stress, real stress, not the mickey mouse made up stresses of modern living, but the stress of running, jumping, throwing, quick decision making on the field.
These things, especially when started early in life can help the body and mind develop into a free thinking, independent strong member of society, not some pudgy asthmatic who recall information parrot fashion.
 
Society is destroying its own future by feeding children junk, letting them sit up all night playing computer games and forcing them to sit all day at a desk.
Get them outside running around, fresh air and a few bumps and bruises never did you and me any harm.
 
This whole subject makes me pretty angry, every time I see a fat kid on the streets I want to go over and knock out its parents.
 
You have the power in your hands to do something about this, I’ve checked the web stats and i know that most of you reading this are 25 – 40 years old, that means there’s a good chance many of you have kids.
How do you want them to turn out?
 
Regards
 
Dave
Father of 1, with another due shortly.
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