A national poll conducted by the University of Michigan’s C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital reveals that child obesity is the top child health concern among U.S. adults, and the concerns are growing.
Obesity has pulled away from a group of concerns vying for the runner-up spot among 23 different health concerns: drug abuse, smoking, bullying, Internet safety, child abuse and alcohol abuse.
Forty-two percent of the 2,017 adults surveyed in May of this year indicated it was their No. 1 concern, compared to 35 percent of adults surveyed in 2008.
This compels us to ask:
- Why do we eliminate sports or levels of teams in our schools?
- Why do we cut kids who want a place on a team?
- Why do we charge participation fees – require pay-for-play?
School sports – that is, a broad and deep program of interscholastic athletics that emphasizes participation by many rather than opportunity for few – is an effective, inexpensive antidote to one of our nation’s most serious child (and then adult) health issues. It takes extra effort to design and deliver such a program; but it is good for everyone when we succeed.
For more information regarding child obesity, visit med.umich.edu/mott/npch/ as well as cdc.gov/obesity.