Lots of health news again this week!
One of the ‘bigger’ headlines was about a lady in America extending the virtues of being Fat & Fit. Sandy Shaffer is 1.65cm tall and weighs 145kg. This was in relation to the one year anniversary of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign – she said she felt the first lady was sending out a negative message by focusing on obeisity, while I think its good if Ms Shaffer takes 3 aerobic classes a week and watches her diet, but the fact is that America and Australia have two of the highest percentages of obese people in their population. One of the main points of Michelle Obama’s campaign is to focus on children’s exercise and diet, to try to prevent kids getting overweight in the first place – I say how can this be a bad thing – get a reality check, our kids spend too long in front of the computer and not enough time doing ‘real’ playing.
Sort of on the same topic, the British Medical Assoc. has undertaken a major study involving 14,000 kids – they followed their diets and measured their IQ at 3, 4, 7 and 81/2 years of age – 3 dietry patterns emerged from a mainly ‘processed’ diet (junk food) to traditional (meat & 2 veg) to health conscious (mainly fruit & veg). Of the 4000 kids for whom they had complete data, the kids following a health conscious diet had a significantly higher IQ. As I said last week, the problem with a lot of these surveys is that they do not often take into account other important information (like the socio-economic class of the kids) - however, we do need to highlight the importance of diet from the earliest age to reduce levels of obesity & improve general health & fitness levels- I believe there’s a lot more that we don’t even yet know about this subject – so I say cut the junk, and force feed vegies!!
Lastly, great headline “Federal Education Dept bans Zumba” – yes indeedy, at their headquarters in Canberra, Zumba was introduced to help employees with their fitness, unfortunately they made the building shake so violently during the hour long class that other staff members feared for their safety!! Engineers were called in by the owners and stated that the buildings safety was not compromised, (well they would!) – though tests later on did show movement was caused. While the report didn’t say who exactly was participating in the class, (perhaps the building was just trying to join in?!), it doesn’t say much for Australian standards, Zumba is like latino dancing – its not high impact, its fun!
So…. that’s how Ian ‘C’s‘ it for this weeks news round up!