Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Be safe, stay home and watch TV

Since researchers often engage in studies to prove that TV is the root of all health evil in children -- causing obesity, mental illness, poor nutritional habits (see Monday's entry, for example) -- it seems only fair to find a report revealing the dark side of going out to play. Sure, being a couch potato at an early age may lead to health problems eventually, but a new study indicates that engaging in athletics makes a teen twice as likely to drop dead. Underlying heart conditions worsened by the stress of exercise and competition are the real culprits in the sudden deaths of young athletes, not that good healthy physical activity itself, but I'm guessing the rate of children suddenly dying while watching snack food commercials is astoundingly low. The study was performed on Italian athletes, and researchers warn that it may not apply to Americans, but no matter; I'm taking it to personally validate my own childhood decision to refrain from organized sports. Of course, in my case there was an underlying clutziness condition that made idleness well-advised, but better safe than sorry.

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