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backassed bragging

I think I'm pretty smart. And I did well in school.

But if—as is reported in the latest junkfoodscience post—"Jocks tend to be better students than couch potatoes," I can only imagine how much smarter I would have been if I'd had more enforced physical activity as a schoolkid (in the name of preventing obesity of course). Not only would I have been skinny, but I would have been so smart that I probably would have invented some superweapon and the Earth would now be a ring of ashes orbiting Venus.

Especially check out the part of the article that discusses the "activity pyramid." It has "schoolwork, homework, reading, computer games, TV, videos, eating, resting, and sleeping" in a tiny triangle at the top, the same triangle that contains "fats" on the food pyramid.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2007 09:13 am (UTC)
That pyramid is one of the most deeply stupid things I have seen in a long time.

Makes me almost glad that I went to school in the 80's where the PE teachers were sadists but mercifully didn't attempt to insult your intelligence.
Jun. 21st, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
I wonder whose "anecdotal" evidence the study was inspired by. With the small exception of a group of kids I knew who played soccer, I'd say the majority of anecdotes are just the opposite - the really smart kids have to be FORCED to play outside.

What an odd study.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Last night they were discussing schoolwork and homework on CBC Radio and a mother called in and said that "everybody knows" that homework is totally useless and she thinks they should ban it entirely. She went on to say that given the obesity epidemic, that seatwork in general should go by the wayside in favour of physical activity.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Homework for the sake of homework, especially for grade-school kids, isn't very useful at improving skills or knowledge. (Even if the kid does it and not the parents.)

It's in high school that homework begins to have some benefit, in terms of practicing skills, working independently, and so on.

All that said, I doubt that kids need to 3 or 4 times as much aerobic activity as sleep.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
I think that the part that bothered me most was the whole idea that certain luxuries we might like to subscribe to (like seatwork of any kind) should of course go by the wayside right now because there's an epidemic on. It's like the War on Terror -- the idea being that whatever you might think about rights, certain concessions need to be made because it's "wartime". These sorts of arguments can be used to justify all sorts of ridiculous things.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, really well said.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:45 pm (UTC)
Wow...so you mean if I just force Liam into soccer and football, he'll find a cure for cancer and take over the world as Evil Dictator(tm)?

Actually, despite the fact I like the idea of retiring at 34 as Dowager Empress of the Universe, I think I'll just let him play his Nintendo DS, ride his bike, read his books and make his own choices.

Jun. 21st, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Imagine that, children allowed to make their own choices about physical activity! You're such a radical.
Jun. 21st, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ayup. I have this silly idea that, after a certain age (the boys are 8 and 10), if you treat children like people...they'll behave that way. I'm not saying let them loose to smoke cigars, watch Three Stooges marathons and eat Cheetos for breakfast. However, letting them make informed choices about their lives makes them PEOPLE, not kids.

I'm probably not articulating this well.
Jun. 21st, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
I've found it works well to treat kids as people. I don't have kids of my own and am rarely solely responsible for any, so I don't know where the limits of this technique are, although I'm pretty sure there are some.

I mean, smoking cigars around other people without their consent is just rude, no matter how old the people involved are.
Jun. 22nd, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
She's not the only one. Agent Weasel, who is nine, has always been freely able to choose whether or not she played any type of organised sports. And now she plays two winter sports, two summer sports, all of her own choosing, and has swimming lessons. (Only the swimming lessons have been foisted on her by her parents, and we treat them as a survival skill rather than a sport in its own right.)

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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