In an article titled "Americans Are Losing the War on Obesity," author Michael Torchia informs us that the Children's Fitness Academy (CFA) is concerned about an "anti-anti-obesity" backlash. (Yes, you read that right.)
According to the piece, our politicians' harsh policies and extreme measures designed to reduce obesity are creating a negative sentiment among the American public as they grow weary of more intrusive policies. Of particular concern to the CFA -- and the reason I'm writing this -- is "a proliferation of unfortunate school-based anti-obesity policies throughout America. These include fitness testing, lunch box inspections by teachers, mandatory weighing of students, banning of particular kinds of food at school celebrations and remedial physical activity for students who do not meet prescribed fitness or weight standards."
The article goes on to say that "CFA's main concern is that the intensity of talk about childhood obesity and the zeal of some physical activity advocates mean that many children will experience physical activity as, at best, medicine and, at worst, punishment. Children's Fitness Academy has discovered growing evidence in developed countries that the focus on obesity has sidelined good-quality PE lessons, with teachers instead putting children through overly strenuous 'huff and puff' fitness classes."
If this is indeed the case, then let me add my name to the list of those who are concerned. As anyone familiar with developmentally appropriate physical education can tell you, the goal of PE is to promote fitness for life. And the only way that's going to happen is if we ensure children never lose their initial, natural love of movement -- so they'll always want to stay physically active! If physical activity becomes drudgery rather than fun, children are going to stop moving as soon as the choice is theirs to make!
Why is it we can never seem to do anything in moderation? To find the balance between extremes? The CFA urges a more "holistic approach" to combating the obesity epidemic. I couldn't agree more.