Wednesday, September 02, 2009

World's Stupidest Childhood Obesity Tie-in?

At the very least it's in the top three.

You see childhood obesity intervention sells. It sells magazines, newspapers and apparently it helped sell the concept of a $10 million seal exhibit at an aquarium.

Say what?

Yup - the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center recently unveiled its $10 million dollar seal habitat and Move It! program. The program basically involves people, presumably including children, watching seals with the hope that watching seals while the children themselves are either stationary or seated will translate into improved childhood fitness and a reduction in childhood obesity.

I kid you not.

Apparently not only will children be able to stand still and watch seals playing actively, they'll also be able to stand still and look at panels around the aquarium that show seal "moves" like stretching, jumping and swimming which encouraging the kids to, "Try it!"

Here's what Paul Boyle, vice president of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums had to say about this mind-numbing initiative,

"You can almost see a child in front of the exhibit, gyrating, trying to mimic the seal and saying, 'Well this is pretty cool,'" he said. "Then they go home and they may roll around in the backyard and then they may start to, you know ... run"
Better not take your kids to a bird sanctuary Paul - they might climb up on the roof and try to fly.

[Hat tip to my friend and colleague Dr. Sara Kirk]