Junkfood Science: Taking the joy out of play — Calorie burning kids

September 05, 2007

Taking the joy out of play — Calorie burning kids

Today's medical news from Australia will stop the hearts of sane parents and healthcare professionals everywhere. The costs to our children of efforts to whip them into shape and the lack of evidence behind exercise programs to prevent childhood obesity have been extensively reviewed. But some haven't heard.

This takes the cake (don’t miss the photo by James Brickwood!):

It's a small world - from babyccinos to baby bicep curls

A GRINDING session on the glutes, some spot training on the quadriceps - and it's time for a nap and the Wiggles. Sydney toddlers are now using mini-treadmills, exercise bikes and steppers to “train at home" rather than play at the park or in the backyard.

The junior gym equipment, which can be used while watching a circuit training program on DVD, has horrified some obesity and child play experts who claim it is unnatural and inappropriate for small children to exercise like adults and was “a frightening portent of things to come". The equipment, designed for children aged three to 11, also includes a cross-trainer, rowing machine and weight bench.

It might get littlies moving, but Tim Gill from the Australian Society for the Study of Obesity said the answer to the childhood obesity epidemic was “not circuit training in front of the TV". “Children do not do physical exercise to burn off calories. They play because it is fun, and when they play they are learning fundamental movement skills they will carry throughout their lives. If this is the best approach to the obesity crisis, then we're doomed," he said yesterday....

Thank you, Leigh!

Bookmark and Share