United States Sports Academy
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The Sport Digest - ISSN: 1558-6448

Childhood Obesity

The lowering of physical education standards and the closing of physical education programs in our schools, the lack of family time, the free access to video games and television, the fast food industry targeting children…the list goes on and on as to why the United States is facing the largest obesity problem in its history.

I have come across two web sites that provide valuable information on childhood obesity: The Kid Source – http://www.kidssource.com About Our Kids – http://www.aboutourkids.org

You can log on to both these sites and type “obesity” in the search tab to reach articles that discuss the issues around childhood obesity. The Kid Source web site discusses promoting physical activity and exercise among children as well as helping children eat right. The About Our Kids web site discusses environmental and genetic factors influencing weight and also suggests solutions.

Obesity is a complex problem. It is important for us to emphasize nutrition and exercise (physical activity) to our kids. Education is the key. Parents, teachers, and coaches need to re-evaluate our priorities and put exercise and nutrition at the forefront.

In a society of over-stimulation of advertisement, quick fix solutions, and high caliber entertainment, we need to get back to the basics of good nutritious food coupled with an active lifestyle to conquer this epidemic.

Chest protection is needed in youth sports. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has put out a statement to it’s members recommending chest protection be considered and utilized to protect youth athletes against cardiac arrest due to a blow to the chest (commotio cordis). Commotio cordis is a rare condition that has killed athletes in baseball, softball, football, soccer, hockey and lacrosse. It is also recommended that all coaches and officials be trained in CPR, First Aide and AED – Automated External Defibrillator. Other Sports-healthcare Professionals also recommended that a Sport Safety Course be administered to teach those involved with youth sports – how to properly care for young athletes.


USA TODAY, For the Record, May 21, 2004, Pg. 13C.