Category Archives: obesity

Standardized testing in schools: How about health and exercise?

“Over all, the accelerometer data showed that the children were sedentary during about 70 percent of their day… . On average, only about 48 minutes in a child’s day — about 12 percent of the time he or she spent in child care — were set aside for active play time… Compared to the recommended 120 minutes per day of physically active time for children at this age, the average of 48 minutes per day during which children had even the opportunity for active play is “considerably suboptimal,” the researchers wrote.”

And this is for pre-schoolers. I am sure it is even worse for older kids in school. So why don’t traditional schools get a bit more nuts on testing the aerobic capacity, flexibility, strength, agility, etc. of the kids?

Even the CDC says: “Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day. Aerobic activity should make up most of your child’s 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day.”

My son regularly says:
“I was outside running around ALL DAY at school today” at Sudbury Valley School

And I believe it. My two boys regularly come home from school sweaty and with a fine layer of dirt covering their entire body with tales of complicated collaborative games that they’ve been playing. Right now basketball is pretty popular. Followed by nukem and 4-square. But I’ve been hearing a lot about handball, ultimate, pickle, and a three-team tag/capture-the-flag sort of game someone came up with called Frank. I haven’t really been able to sort out what that’s all about.

Sidebar: Important tips when your kids got to a Sudbury School
Fall/Spring: Stock up on sunscreen and band-aids. Your kid might be riding a bike at age 4 or 3.5. It’s worth paying for good bikes (and helmets of course). Start with 12″, then 16″ (still ok to be kick-brakes), then 20″ (this should be a 6 speed with had brakes), then 24″. Trek or specialized seem like the way to go. craigslist is great. Buy 2 if necessary to avoid having to bring the bike to and from school everyday if you don’t want the hassle. “Iron Knee” jeans from Lands End really do seem to hold up needing little knee-patching and they also sell “slim” sizes.

Cold winters: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Buy extra pairs of waterproof gloves and mittens. You might need to alternate days when 1 pair is still drying out or a pair is “lost” at school. A boot-dryer is invaluable and knowing the trick of drying-out shoes with newspaper. 2 pairs of smartwool socks can help. Polyester fleece pants. The sturdiest sleds seem to be the foam ones. Most of the hard plastic ones seem to break too quickly compared to the ones I used as a kid. For younger kids: figure out what is easiest jacket for zipping-up themselves without having to ask a staff member.

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Filed under health, obesity, outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Our Wall-E waistlines

Folks, Wall-E is not the future. It is now!

“…if trends continue, 83 percent of men and 72 percent of women are projected to be overweight or obese by 2020.”

Is that right? Wow.


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Filed under health, obesity

“High-fat, high-protein diets are also dangerous”…

This is old news, but I think it is worth a reminder! (Do your own research of course, but I think Joel Fuhrman’s advice–based on research of research–is quite sound. His books always include lots of supporting research references to studies one can read oneself on PubMed, etc. And exercise!)


This ill-advised “news”may heve been fit to print, but the diets surely are unfit to eat.
By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

In July, The New York Times printed an article titled “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” by Gary Taubes. Taubes states that the cause of the obesity problem in the U.S. is that Americans eat too many carbohydrates and that low-fat, high carb diets make you fat and lead to other diseases. His solution is the high-fat, high-protein diets advocated by Dr. Robert Atkins and others. After reading the article, I sent a letter to the editor, which the Times did not print. The information that follows was included in that letter.

The recent New York Times article by Gary Taubes perpetuates many of the nutritional myths spread by Dr. Robert Atkins and others. The fact that high-glycemic diets-rich in refined carbohydrates such as sugar, pasta, and other junk foods–are large contributors to the obesity epidemic and also to serious disease in no way justifies a recommendation to eat a diet that is rich in saturated fat. Without question, high-glycemic diets are dangerous, But diets rich in the highly saturated fat of animal products are also dangerous. Why debate which dangerous diet is worse?

Taube reiterated the false claim of authors like Atkins and Barry Sears that Americans are eating less fat than ever before but our obesity rate is skyrocketing. The truth is that because we are eating more calories than ever before, the percentage of fat in the diet has gone down. The total amount of fat in the American diet has changed very little.

Atkins recommends that you eat primarily high-fat, high-protein, fiberless, animal foods and attempt to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Analyses of the proposed menus show that animal products comprise more than 90 percent of calories in the diet. Hundreds of scientific studies have documented the link between animal products and various cancers, Increased consumption of animal products combined with the decreased consumption of fresh produce has the most powerful effect on increasing one’s risk for various kinds of cancer.

There are more than 3,500 scientific studies, involving more than 15,000 research scientists, reporting a relationship between the consumption of meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy products with heart disease, cancer, kidney failure, constipation, gallstones, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids, just to name a few.

A meat-based diet like the one Atkins advocates (which includes little or no fruit, no starchy vegetables and no whole grains) could more than double your risk of certain cancers, especially of meat-sensitive cancers, such as epithelial cancers of the respiratory tract. A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute found that the relative risk of lung cancer was six fold greater in women in the highest fifth. Atkins devotees adopt a dietary pattern that is completely contrary to the one recommended by the world’s leading research scientists studying the link between diet and cancer.

There are numerous ways to lose weight. However “effective” they may be, some simply are not safe. No responsible person would advocate smoking cigarettes or snorting cocaine simply because these can be effective in promoting weight loss. Advocating a weight-loss program based on severe carbohydrate restriction also is irresponsible. following this advice can cost people their lives!

Diets that are designed to be low in refined carbohydrates, while rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, offer the greatest protection against cancer, and at the same time enable individuals to lose weight healthfully and permanently. My patients who follow a high-nutrient, high-fiber, low-glycemic, plant-based diet invariably achieve more substantial weight reduction, compared to patients who follow the meat-based diets irresponsibly supported by the recent article. Remember losing weight healthfully and permanently is the key to success.

Joel Fuhrman MD: Nearly Everyone Gets Cancer

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Filed under diabetes, erik-green, evidence-based, health, obesity

fixing healthcare with some personal responsibility

Ok, we know healthcare costs are getting out of control. Not just in the US, but everywhere. LINK 2011

So here’s my plan for setting rates based on some personal responsibility:

1. Pay a normal price if you want, but if you want a better deal, agree to have your blood pressure (and what else???) tested. If it is too high, you have the chance to redeem yourself by going on an EAT TO LIVE diet for a week (a month?) — maybe literally have someone feed you meals from Phase I of EAT TO LIVE.

2. And then get tested again. If there is no change, then OK, that is your baseline even and even if it still too high, oh well, you are not going to be charged more. But if it is now low, that’s the new benchmark. And if you slack, then tough, you can pay the higher rate.

3. Everyone needs to get retested every 6 months let’s say. Like a dentist cleaning.

4. Repeat.

So it’s totally up to you if you want to eat / exercise as you wish. But it no longer punishes people with healthy bodies. Or look at it how you want… most people will continue as normal, others will choose to “sacrifice” to save some money.

Just an idea. Wouldn’t that work just fine? Combine with KEAS at the workplace if you want. Paying less is “positive reinforcement”. Plus not dying is nice. But the immediate $$ savings is more REAL I think.

Book: Dr. Joel Fuhrman: EAT TO LIVE
KEAS — the gameification of health
GYM PACT: fitness plan members pay more if they don’t work out

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Filed under cancer, diabetes, health, heart disease, obesity