I love the Economist for the pure reason that they give a different view from most other sources I try and read. I have a horrible time reading the Baltimore Sun. I just come away angry or feeling like I can’t get the whole story because the infamous “they” are limiting the information and skewing it. I can’t stand it, so I try to stay away from it.
Anyways, I’m flipping through the recent Economist (the one that has all the articles about the KGB in it) and lo and behold there is an article about american kids of today getting fatter. They even said that “a group sponsered by the National Institute on Ageing has warned that this may be the first generation ever to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.” Apparently the percentage of overweight children in the US is now up to +17%.
The article goes on to discuss how in 2004 Congress passed an act that told school districts who receive money from the school-lunch program to make wellness policies pertaining to the food offered, and physical activity requirements. Apparently more percentages go on to say that in 1991 42% of the children were partaking in daily exercise and by 2001 it dropped to 28%.
I’m going to say that this boggles my mind. In 1991, yes, I was attending a private school and we had required gym time and activity and things like that. Kindergarten through 2nd Grade I remember having to go to gym class at the glorious Northwood Elementary School. We had to play kickball, run relays, circle games, etc. We had school lunches at Northwood that were. . . some food glop (Mexican Pizza sticks in my mind the most), something else, milk and a fudgesicle pop you had to eat first or else it melted. We were active kids, we had to get out and do things, go to gym, etc. By the time high school rolled around people were finding ways to get out of gym class (the infamous “time-of-the-month” figured in FAR too often, as did just sitting in the nurses office for a class or two) but usually we still had to participate to a certain point no matter what. We also had 4 floors in that high school and you had to walk them if you wanted to get to class in the 4 minutes between bells. Nice cardio.
I have since lost where I think I am going with this. My mind has gotten too garbled in what I’m trying to get across that I have since lost my train of thought.
These statistics scare me.
I don’t like to think that the US is not so much known as “The Melting Pot” but as a land of fat people that are ignorant to exercise and eating properly. Going over to the UK and Europe has shown me that people have these ideas of Americans that is just staggering. They see Hollywood stars, our President and then these statistics on a population that is more overweight than not. It’s hard to face the views and opinions other countries have of your own, no matter what they are.