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Barr jumps on childhood obesity bandwagon

By GnT - 19 September 2007 13

Education minister Andrew Barr has announced initiatives to encourage schools to include Physical Education in the curriculum. The ABC article is here, and the press release is here.

I must be getting cynical in my old age, but I reckon this childhood obesity thing is a beat-up. Apparently “over 25% of our year 6 students are overweight or obese and … as few as one in five report to be moderately or vigorously physically active.” I find these figures hard to beleive – don’t kids always want to play? Why do we have to give incentives for them to run around? Every school I’ve ever taught at already has compulsory PE, and kids are dying to get out of the classrooms and burn off all their energy. From my observations, only about 1 in 50 kids is obese.

This is just the latest pet concern of the media and the government is jumping aboard.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Barr jumps on childhood obesity bandwagon
schmerica_ 9:57 pm 20 Sep 07

That depends… Do you have any more dumb answers?

JD114 3:10 pm 20 Sep 07

Definition:
Look: lardarse
Act: generaly lazy even though they would deny it
Sound: often normal

Generally appear fairly unappealing due to their lack of drive, sloppy lifestyles, laziness etc…

Any more dumb questions?

schmerica_ 1:47 pm 20 Sep 07

So how are they measuring obesity these days? Define what an ‘obsese’ person is supposed to look/act/sound(?) like.

Mr Evil 10:37 am 20 Sep 07

According to Spicks and Specks on ABC, before Elvis died, he was consuming 94 000 calories/day!

JD114 10:30 am 20 Sep 07

An eye opener for those who choose to open their eyes is the trip up the east coast of Straya… about Port Macquarie the proportion of lardy types increases, especially amongst the blokes, and especially the fat lazy fishermen who find the concept of walking over a dune or two to the beach offensive, and insist on taking their 4WDs onto otherwise pristine beaches.

One of the most interesting little snippets I’ve ever seen was on that show on the ABC about the people given a block of land in Montana and made to live the lifestyle of the pioneers… one of the men went ot a doctor because he was convinced he was wasting away. He went into the program weighing about 13 stone for his 5’8″ frame, and within a month had slimmed to about 10 stone. the doctor told him bluntly that his new weight was what was considered the norm in those days, when the daily work people had to do provided sufficient exercise to act as an automatic diet.

What really pisses me off about the lardarses wallowing in and out of their cars into Woolies and Maccas to further gorge themselves is that they will expect the rest of the population to cover the ever rising costs of looking after their self-inflicted health problems.

jemmy 8:21 am 20 Sep 07

Did anyone see the program on ABC2 last night, “America’s Fattest City”? My effin’ god, it was unbelievable. 1 in 3 people in Houston are obese, a high proportion are morbidly obese (I forget the number), 10 yo kids weighing 80 kg, etc. You had to see the program to get the images, they lose their power in words, but those who saw it will understand.

The image that will stay in my mind forever, to haunt me in my imperfect moments, was a woman weighing 200kg (!?) getting into bed and a huge flap of fat from god-knows-where flopped out of her nightclothes and spread out across the entire bed.
I wanted to poke my eyes out with a stick.

nyssa76 11:49 pm 19 Sep 07

I have about 1 large student in each of my classes bar one class where I have students who would all be considered “healthy”. That works out to about 4 in 110 students.

It’s a bit of a wind up from a man who closed local schools, forcing children to catch buses or drive in cars to get to school.

gladbag 11:33 pm 19 Sep 07

I also wonder about this obesity hysteria. In my childrens schools, (admittedly primary schools only at this stage) there are about 2 fat kids per class. Remembering to my youth(30 years ago), the stats are about the same, and we didn’t have tv in our country then. Also I remember most of the teenagers at my boarding school being plump/fat so I sometimes think it may be an awareness/moneymaking/sky falling in thing.
Saturdays on the sports fields, it’s pretty full with loads of kids and their adoring parents so on the whole exercise is happening.

GnT 8:02 pm 19 Sep 07

“Seriously, why the hell would they make this up?”

Because it gets great media coverage?!

Like all statistics, it’s subject to spinning, stretching and skewing. I’d be interested to know the source of these statistics, as well as the scientific study it comes from.

Are you a parent or a teacher? I’m both – hence my doubt.

mutley 6:36 pm 19 Sep 07

Well there’s your problem right there. Of course the kids are going to be fat if they’re on the bandwagon! They should be pulling the damn thing, or at least being dragged along behind it.

Mr Evil 5:09 pm 19 Sep 07

Send these fat kids to bootcamp in Baghdad: that’ll make them lose weight in no time!

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:16 pm 19 Sep 07

So you choose to reject reality and substitute your own? Seriously, why the hell would they make this up? Kids don’t want to play – kids want to sit on their arses in front of a screen and eat. Chuck ethnicity and socioeconomic status into the mix and there are groups of Australian children who have a much higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than these figures.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 1:48 pm 19 Sep 07

Consider that humans (especially kids) are supposed to be quite skinny. The fact that a particular person is ‘average’ does not mean they aren’t overweight.

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