The Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Seen All Day.

And it’s only 9am…

Drop and give me 20!

Apparently, according to this article, British researchers are recommending that children under the age of 5, even those who aren’t walking yet, need to exercise.

*crickets…crickets…crickets…*

What I want to ask these researchers…god, where to start? How about, did you exercise as a baby? Did your mother exercise as a baby? No. Of course not. Not beyond the usual baby things that babies do to prepare for being a human on this planet.

If we look at a 1950s suburb, we see sidewalks, unpotholed streets, young trees, and promise. But it’s more telling what we don’t see—a distance runner suffering on the sidewalk or our neighbor Bill biking to work in the hopes of keeping off a few pounds. Things like jump ropes were toys. If you saw a bike, a kid was on it and he wasn’t wearing a cycling jersey.

Exercise is a recent phenomena. In no other time in history have so many devoted precious time to nothing but the pursuit of trying to keep weight off. And, as Gary Taubes has drilled into us, it makes us hungry. This leads to a Catch-22 for so many, and they’ll never see the results they desire without getting their diet in check. I know, because that was me a mere 7 months ago.

Besides, have these researchers ever SEEN any child under the age of 5? Their day is one of constant exercise: jumping, running, playing, skipping, biking, exploring, and generally being complete fidgeting spazzes. If it ain’t working, more exercise isn’t the answer.

How much longer do we have to go down this path of suffering before we figure out what’s really going on? When I began this WOE, I thought it was merely a preference, a choice. I never expected to become a food activist, but that’s exactly what’s beginning to happen. Because when exercise is being recommended for babies, it has officially reached criminal proportions. If you need any more motivation to feed your family real food, let it be this: It is every child’s right to have an opportunity for basic health and happiness. They can’t have that if they’re stuck with insulin needles every day. If they can’t keep up with their friends on the playground. If it sets them up for body image issues their entire life. If they’re on statins by 18.

This. Has. Got. To. Stop.

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7 Responses to “The Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Seen All Day.”

  1. I heard of a study that was done recently where they built an ‘adult size’ toddler playroom – all the furniture was huge, as well as oversize toys/blocks, bikes, etc. to simulate a 2-year-old’s environment/challenges. Then they took olympic athletes and had them try to imitate every action a 2-year-old made for 8 hours. Climbing up and down chairs, running in circles, etc. etc. They couldn’t do it!! It was waaay too hard. If anything, I think my 2-year-old needs LESS exercise! Good lord, he makes me tired just watching him. I’ll try to find that article…

  2. Complete fidgeting spazzes – you nailed it!

  3. It’s not exercise they need, it’s play time. Some parents are ‘babying’ the children to much and they don’t get a chance to fall over and pick themselves up again. Kids need to be kids, descover their limits and grow in a world made not of rubber but of trees and parks. Keeping them inside will keep them inside, if you know what I mean. Exercise is a ridiculous concept for under 5′s.

  4. I interpreted it as more like encouraging movement through active play, not as putting a kid on a treadmill or anything. I see many overweight children under 5 who aren’t just chubby with baby fat. It’s not just the a poor diet that gets them there. Kids start super young with their gadgets, video games, and generally sedentary lives these days. And how often do I hear a parent telling their child to sit still and stop running around so that they don’t have to move?

  5. I provide care for my grandkids, 4 and 7. We are outside every day (even in this brutal 100+ degree North Texas weather. They walk, run, swim, climb, jump, bike, throw, catch – all that good stuff. And they fall – a lot. But I love it when they get up from a fall and say, “I’m OK, grandpa,” and get back to it. Oh and did I mention how trying to keep up with them is probably extending the life of this almost 70 grandpa!

  6. I probably should’ve stated my main point a little more clearly, which is that exercise for young children is as useless as it is for adults when it comes to weight loss. If you don’t have the dietary piece cleared out, then exercise will only serve to make kids hungrier. Calories in/calories out doesn’t work when sugars, grains, and processed foods are on board.

    What these researchers should have concluded is that if we as a species have reached a point where childhood obesity is this bad then 1) We are failing our children; and 2) Something more fundamental is going on to cause this sort of epidemic. And that something is that our food system is broken.

    There’s also some thinking that we are at a point where the effects are being compounded over generations, which is why we’re seeing obesity younger and younger. Also, more evidence is coming out showing how important it is to eat healthfully while pregnant since it sets the stage for the kiddo. Unfortunately, eating “healthfully” in most people’s understandings includes wheat germ, brown rice, and oatmeal.

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