Study: Lack Of Exercise Has Nothing To Do With Kids Being Fat
According to a new study from the United Kingdom, exercise and physical activity in general had little to do with kids being overweight. Rather, it’s all about the foods they eat.
Which sounds rather suspicious to me. Almost like this study is aimed right at snack food and beverage makers with a blatant political agenda.
In clinical trials using exercise to curb childhood obesity at the U.K.’s Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, weight loss totaled only .2 pounds over three years, according to a 2009 report about the research known as the EarlyBird Diabetes Study.
Obesity is a key risk factor in potentially life-threatening conditions including diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Researchers were curious about whether a lack of exercise leads to gaining weight or whether gaining weight leads to a lack of exercise in kids. Their study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, indicated that physical activity had no impact on a shift in weight but getting heavier resulted in a decrease in activity.
Instead dietary mistakes — excessive portions, high-calorie snacks, heavily sweetened drinks and an overabundance of sugar — are to blame, the findings indicate.
“I don’t find that study very surprising,” said California nutritionist Dr. Douglas Husbands. “The major culprits in child obesity are the sugary drinks and the low-nutrient-density carbohydrate snacks.”
Sugar-filled drinks are packed with liquid calories, which are easier to ingest, Husbands told AOL Health. Additionally, the artificial sweeteners in juice, soda and tidbits given to kids can lead to problematic hormonal imbalances.
“They make you want to have more,” he said. “It’s also the lack of good things too: the lack of adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables. When you put all that together, you’ll have a great risk of increasing childhood obesity.”
“They make you want to have more.” Really? Delicious sweets and junk food taste good and make people want to eat more of them?
I’m shocked. I mean, who knew this stuff was so tempting?
Regardless, I’m more than a little suspicious about this study’s findings. To me, physical health is generally driven by two things: Diet and exercise. This is what doctors have been saying for generations. Barring some unique circumstance or condition, if you want to be slim and trim you eat less and exercise more.
This study seems to want to heap all the blame not on the people who are eating unhealthy foods and not exercising enough but rather on the unhealthy foods themselves. Which is a bit like suggesting that cars are responsible for people who drive drunk, or that guns are responsible for the crimes people commit with them.
I’m not really convinced that there is an obesity “crisis” or “epidemic.” I think there’s a lot of busybodies and policy makers who want there to be an “epidemic” to justify their own agendas. But even if there were, the solution lays with individuals making better decisions.
Not with government prohibitions and policies aimed at manipulating our behavior.Tags: nanny statism, obesity