Wednesday, September 01, 2004

More P.E.? Not for me!

I read this and hear clumsy, sports-impaired boys and girls all over the country screaming "Nooooooo!": A recent study proposes that childhood obesity could be dramatically decreased by increasing the amount of time elementary school children spend in gym class. And sure, I guess there is some sense in figuring that more exercise leads to leaner kids. But I wonder if the researchers are taking into account the extreme self-esteem blows that can come to the uncoordinated with extra chances each week to demonstrate their lack of physical prowess. Double the amount of phys-ed time, and you double the amount of taunts and failures. And isn't that just going to lead to an increase in overeating, teen depression, and really unpleasant rock and roll? I have to believe that a lot of researchers were not themselves football player material; can't we have a study that proves that putting kids of mixed skills together in a gymnasium with a variety of projectiles and insufficient supervision can be more damaging than a supersized Big Mac meal? Krispy Kreme might want to offer a grant for that.

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