Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


“Junk food” Out? How about exercise IN?

I’ve been asked to speak a lot this week about the new Junk Food Ban in Ontario and I think I’ve made my position on the issue pretty clear: While I think the INTENTION is good, my problem is with the execution. Simply “Banning” foods from schools will not solve any problems, we need to EDUCATE, not just mandate.

But that’s not what’s on my mind today. Today my issue is with the lack of Physical activity being offered at Elelmentary schools. I think it’s hypocritical for the government to tell us that they are concerned about our kids’ health and then make physical fitness such an afterthought.

Our kids are in school MOST of the day and NEED a chance to move around,get their hearts pumping and blood flowing. It’s been proven that just 20mins of sustained vigorous exercise helps kids learn better, which is WHY Ontario introduced the “Healthy Schools” plan in 2005 which ensured that kids got up and moved for 20mins everyday.

Sadly, this program has pretty much been abandoned. I do NOT blame the teachers since I know that they would love to give their students a chance to re-energize during the day, but feel that their schedules just don’t leave them ample time to do it.

What’s worse is how often gym is the first class to be cancelled when there’s an issue with over scheduling and all of a sudden, the scheduled 2 gym classes a week gets cut to ONE class once a week. Now factor in those days when it’s too rainy or snowy for outdoor recess and the kids are kept inside all day. The situation is a grim one.

IF kids today are not as healthy as they used to be and IF, as so many TV Commercials are telling us, they aren’t getting nearly enough exercise as they should be, can’t our schools help us out? Not all families can affored extra curricular activities or may have a problem getting their kids back and forth, shouldn’t we be working together on this?

The government is so quick attack food as the problem but maybe it’s because taking food out is easier than putting exercise in.

The fact is..I am less concerned with the food that’s available at my children’s school than I am with the physical activity that is NOT.

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