15 September 2009

Learning Obesity

My wife Sandi teaches second graders in one of the poorer parts of San Diego County. To demonstrate their serious approach to academics, the school focuses the children all day on classwork. Once a day they get 15 minutes to play outside. Once a week they get 45 minutes for PE. At least they have video games to play when they get home.

It's a good thing they'll be literate. It'll help them to decipher those complicated forms they make you fill out when they begin to treat you for conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.


Big Al said...

If the children live in one of the poorest parts of San Diego County, they may not have video games. And I'm guessing it's almost certain they don't have good nutrition. And that lack of good nutrition further exacerbates the problem as they aren't adequately feeding their brains, along w/the rest of their body.

So the problems start at a young age. Because the mind and body is not nourished correctly, both go backwards instead of forwards. And later in life various physical parts start to break down or, and complications set in like diabetes and/or high blood pressure and/or mental illnesses.

Poor analogy but it does work: just as spending the time and money on car maintenance and care helps to insure many long years of trouble-free driving, so too would our whole bodies perform so much better and w/less expense if we could spend the little monies required for proper care and maintenance.

Anonymous said...

Big Al, It is amazing how many poor students do have access (family, neighbor,community center etc.)to electronic games. They keep the kids off the streets and quiet, so they are thought to be a "good" investment for parents.
Ron, another thing... the kids that need the physical activity the most, are usually climbing the walls long before they get their 15 min. outside. Then they end up with red slips, having to spend their "free" recess time sitting quietly in the lunch arbor in detention. Those children usually have bad afternoons... hummmmm, could there be a connection?
Thanks for using R World for some of my causes! I do Yoga and jogging on the spot in transitions to help combat this problem. These new ones can't even jog for one little minute in place! They wimp out at about 20-30 seconds, that will change!

Anonymous said...

Somehow people got the idea in their heads that education should consist primarily of filling in blanks on forms. Music and sports are being treated as fluff instead of as essential elements to a well-rounded individual.

Gypsy at Heart said...

In school as a child we had two 15 minute breaks for the mid-morning and mid afternoon snack. A 30 minute break for longer play and a 30 minute lunch period. Gym was everyday with different activities per day. Softball, basketball, soccer and so forth. My classes started at 7 in the morning and finished by 3 in the afternoon. The school days were long but activity filled. I was physically tired by the time I got home. Incredibly, we would then meet up with other neighborhood children to play games of tag, hide and seek or swim for a bit before we settled down to our homework. My mother had an ironclad rule. In bed by 8:30. It was a great and physical childhood. We learned the opposite of Obesity.

Kale Roseen said...

Big Al is spot on in identifying the vicious cycle beginning in so many of our youth. I also agree with Sandi - you'd be surprise how many poverty-stricken homes are equipped with elegant big-screen TVs. It's tough to blame the parents for things like that, though. Many of them work multiple jobs, and, like Sandi said, tv and video games is the easiest way to keep them off the streets and occupied. On top of the inactivity, as Big Al was alluding to, many of these folks do not know what proper nutrition is nor do they have the means to provide it for themselves and their children. A sad state of affairs indeed.