Tuesday, February 11, 2014

American Heart Association Joins the NFL to Lie to Kids About Childhood Obesity

It's called "NFL Play60" and it's supposed to help kids to play each day for 60 minutes and is "designed to tackle childhood obesity".

And no doubt getting kids more active is a noble cause and were Play60 actually effective, one that would improve kids' health. Putting aside the fact that I'm unaware of any public health intervention that has led to a sustained rise in kids' physical activity levels, the research to date would suggest that even if one did, although health might improve, weight almost certainly won't.

Which is why I find the AHA's involvement so frustrating. While the NFL surely isn't expected to be up on the medical literature that has objectively (using accelerometry) reported that even if kids are 10x as active as their peers their activity doesn't confer protection against weight gain, the AHA certainly ought to be. And yet the AHA has just helped in cobranding a smartphone app where, believe it or not, kids are expected to hold their smartphones while running and jumping so as to move an avatar and collect points (fun?).

So besides lying to kids about the impact of exercise on weight (and in so doing perpetuate the myth that obesity is consequent to laziness), what else will NFL Play60 do?

Teach them that if they're going to play more they'd better "Fuel Up to Play60" (something no one really needs to do - 60 minutes of casual play, doesn't require any special "fuelling")

And with what shall they fuel?

Why chocolate milk of course. The perfect beverage to "tackle" childhood obesity given that drop for drop it can contain up to double the calories of Coca-Cola along with 20% more sugar.


http://www.genyouthfoundation.org/my-super-bowl-weekend-experience/


And why might they be promoting a hyper-caloric liquid sugary chocolate bar to help kids tackle childhood obesity?

Because Fuel Up to Play60 was co-founded by the National Dairy Council.

Sigh.

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11 comments:

  1. I'm trying to come up with an intelligent comment but honestly... I'm speechless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is all about marketing, sales, more money. What more can one say.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ken Martin4:43 pm

    Yet more proof that humanity will do anything in pursuit of a dollar, even willfully making our children unhealthy.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You missed that the Dairy Council is recommending low fat or fat free milk, which has an even slightly HIGHER amount of sugar from lactose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GAH! Low fat and fat free for children?!?

      Delete
  5. Anonymous12:13 am

    Ok, I'll give you this is a mess. But your comment that public health initiatives haven't been shown to work and even if they did "health might improve but weight won't" puzzles me. If health improves, why are we concerned about weight? If someone is healthy and active enough to stay that way, who care what they weigh? Isn't that attitude -- that it's all about the number -- just another example of fat-shaming?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:15 am

      oops...public health initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity, that should be. There really are some public health initiatives that DO improve outcomes....

      Delete
  6. The food companies have the money to target kids all they want. And targeting kids leads to more profits. The only way to stop it is the same way they stopped tobacco. Ban ads, impose taxes, force the food companies to pay for unbranded nutrition programs.

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  7. I'm no expert, but that comment about physical activity not being "protective" against weight gain seems overstated. Lack of physical activity is certainly a risk factor for obesity. There are also multiple studies that show activity can indeed improve body composition and slow weight gain. A quick search will reveal many studies that support the benefits of physical activity interventions for children.

    1. US Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon
    General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville (MD):
    US Department of Health and Human Services: Office of the
    Surgeon General; 2010. p. 21.

    2. Gutin B, Yin Z, Johnson M, Barbeau P. Preliminary findings of
    the effect of a 3-year after-school physical activity intervention
    on fitness and body fat: the Medical College of Georgia FitKid
    Project. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008;3:3–9

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not to be a ball buster or anything but giving examples of what the government's so called vision is and a medical community physical activity intervention are the poorest examples to give primarily because they both scratch each others backs and falsify information to suit there agenda's. Eating the food the government approves for us to eat, genetics, diets full od sugar and processed food, disease, and a seditary lifestyle all contribute to being overweight. Stop buying processed food and start buying organic fresh everything, grass fed and finished beef, raw milk and unpasturized eggs, raw milk cheese. Cook at home in all stainless steel and leave restaurant food alone. If people can buy the chips and cookies and premade frozen dinners and if they would stop then they would be able to afford to eat to live instead of live to eat.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not to be a ball buster or anything but giving examples of what the government's so called vision is and a medical community physical activity intervention are the poorest examples to give primarily because they both scratch each others backs and falsify information to suit there agenda's. Eating the food the government approves for us to eat, genetics, diets full od sugar and processed food, disease, and a seditary lifestyle all contribute to being overweight. Stop buying processed food and start buying organic fresh everything, grass fed and finished beef, raw milk and unpasturized eggs, raw milk cheese. Cook at home in all stainless steel and leave restaurant food alone. If people can buy the chips and cookies and premade frozen dinners and if they would stop then they would be able to afford to eat to live instead of live to eat.

    ReplyDelete