There is no denying that the rates of obesity in our country continue to rise, and the last two years of chaos that we have been forced to go through has done nothing but exacerbate this epidemic. One of the scariest aspects of our obesity crisis is how this has affected our youth. The rates of obesity are rising across the board and our youth seem to be affected by it more than anyone. We can blame so many things right now for the cause of this, we can blame covid, we can blame parenting, we can blame technology, there is all kinds of blame to go around, but by blaming this is not getting us any closer to a solution. The fact that the majority of our children want to spend the majority of their free time on video games, or on their iphones, or on Youtube or tick tock or whatever, is just a reality. This reality leads to less and less physical activity, and this is a large part of why there are so many children obese. Diet has its role, and I will discuss that in another article. What I want to focus on today is the lack of physical activity in our children. We can blame technology, we can blame screen time and we can make all of the theoretical possibilities of how we can limit this for our kids, but unfortunately this is only going to continue and increase. The amount of time that we spend on our technology is not going to lessen. We are not all of a sudden going to go backwards and kids are going to outside and play all day. Unfortunately, we have to accept that this is our reality, and the reality is that our kids spend a tremendous amount of time on their butts looking at screens for whatever reason.
One idea that I had was to make my own kids earn their screen time through physical activity and that by doing a certain amount of exercise or playing outside, anything that actually got them moving, then I would reward them with a certain amount of screen time. I thought this was a great idea. It worked to an extent, but the problem was that their perception of physical activity now became even more negative than it already was, because it was a barrier to what they wanted to do. Whether they liked to go outside and play or not, now it was a demand in order for them to get to do what they wanted to do, which was be on their screens. So that was a terrible idea.