Oddly enough, it was physical education teachers who heralded the problem of obesity among school children. They say that for years in a row the current schoolboy cannot do even a single pull-up and runs with shortness of breath. So who will listen to the messenger who delivers the bad news?
What is this physical education at school? Who needs it? What are these skis used for? The physical education teacher at school is such an insignificant character that parents are unlikely to remember his name at home. Other teachers give assignments, look at notebooks, ask questions on the board. What might a physical education teacher ask? Learning to run at home? Bounce? Throwing a ball 25 meters? Draw a picture in your notebook on the topic: me and sports?
I have never heard that parents are worried: it is already the 9th grade and ours still does not know how to climb the rope. But I regularly hear about a hundred and one ways to get out of physical education.
And then suddenly it turns out that obesity in children is almost a national problem. According to official statistics, the number of obese young people has increased sixfold in recent years! Today, up to 25% of children in Russia suffer from obesity (in some regions more, in others less), but on average it turns out that this is one in every four young people.
It is important to understand that obesity cannot be caught while walking without a hat in a public place or in the cold. Obesity is not like herpes; It wasn’t there yesterday but it has spread today. Obesity is about systematically overeating day after day, month after month. When it is impossible not to see that the child’s volume is growing faster than it should.
And here you can criticize fast food all you want, including why hanging out in food courts is so popular among young people. I will upset those who do not want to face the facts. Numerous studies have shown that obesity is as common in areas with fewer fast food outlets as in major cities. Don’t depend everything on burgers and soda.
Now doctors (those who follow physical education teachers but listen to them) say that obesity is caused by young people’s lack of exercise and improper nutrition.
In fact, all this is a consequence of the general tendency to upbringing based on parental example. There is a well-known British wisdom: No need to educate your children, educate yourself. It is impossible to interest the child in physical education if the parents themselves prefer to lie on the couch and do not participate in physical education at all. It’s the same with food: if adults themselves constantly eat chips, it is quite hypocritical to forbid giving chips to a child.
Many people deceptively think: there is no need to worry, it will go away as quickly as it comes! Grandparents also like to say: “It’s always like that in adolescence, keep your cake to yourself!”
But time must be taken here. And it’s true, in our youth, as well as in the youth of our parents and even our grandmothers, puberty hormones were very active and the weight dropped. But at that time people moved more, led an active lifestyle and even walked more – sometimes to the store, sometimes to run errands, sometimes to school – 4 km on foot. What if the house is in the village? When you remove snow in the morning, you’ll already be using a shovel and your biceps and rear deltoids will be swollen.
And now? If you want to eat, you don’t even need to go to the market! You ordered food and you’re done! And if it is necessary, then everything is also relatively close. There is an elevator in the houses. There is no need to run a horse to a cart to go to school by bus.
Covid has made the situation worse. As a result of the lockdown, 30% of children had a decrease in physical activity, which never recovered thereafter. In addition, family habits have changed due to Covid: People started buying more food, children started eating more sweets. One in four children eats sweets more often than before and, as we remember, moves less.
It turns out that a good and well-fed life is comfortable, but not healthy.
Doctors are also frightening: If the situation does not change, 90% of obese adolescents will continue to have this disease into adulthood.
And now it’s time to remember the physical education teacher. Of course, 45 minutes three times a week is not an activity that retirees can do. But it’s still better than nothing. Sometimes you have to start small. For example, stop eating donuts in the evening and go for a walk with your child in the evening. Maybe not 10 thousand steps, but at least the first thousand steps.
The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors.
Dolores Johnson is a voice of reason at “Social Bites”. As an opinion writer, she provides her readers with insightful commentary on the most pressing issues of the day. With her well-informed perspectives and clear writing style, Dolores helps readers navigate the complex world of news and politics, providing a balanced and thoughtful view on the most important topics of the moment.