Editor’s note: In IDEA Fitness Journal (Making News, February 2013), we reported that Spelman College in Atlanta cut its sports programs in favor of a campus-wide health and fitness program. These readers support the change.
Everyone needs a quick pick-me-up now and then, but are we becoming a nation of energy addicts? So it would seem, based on skyrocketing sales of caffeine-infused products. Today’s 24/7 culture, long work hours and poor sleep habits drain stamina and encourage us to guzzle liquid pep to combat daily sluggishness. Energy drinks, with edgy names and catchy slogans, have captured the youth market, igniting sales—and side effects (Seifert et al. 2011).
There’s no separating America’s alarming obesity epidemic and the nation’s out-of-control healthcare spending. In theory, these problems should drive demand for personal trainers in the years to come, but in reality, most trainers’ clients are already fitness enthusiasts who are not part of the obesity problem.
Each year the American College of Sports Medicine releases its ACSM American Fitness Index™, which ranks the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the United States, based on certain health and fitness indicators. These indicators include preventive health behaviors, access to health care, chronic disease conditions and other factors.
Here are the highest and lowest ranked MSAs in 2013:
By now you’ve probably heard about the American Medical Association’s decision to classify obesity as a disease.
“Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical commu-nity tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans,” explained AMA board member Patrice Harris, MD, at the AMA annual meeting. “The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity.”
Exercisers use various devices to track progress and determine intensity. However, recent research suggests that some trackers may not be accurate.
The goal of the study, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (May 10, 2013; [Epub ahead of print]), was to compare how accurately various activity monitors estimated energy expenditure.
Nineteen healthy young men and women spent 4 hours in a room calorimeter, where EE could be measured from air samples.
I would rather see my clients spend more time preparing fresh food for themselves versus exercising. First, if I’ve properly helped clients to identify poor food choices and eating habits, as well as informed them about making nutritionally sound meals and snacks for themselves and their families, they should already be seeing positive changes in their bodies. Such changes include more stamina and energy and the initial weight loss that comes from cutting out excess sugar and salt.
In June, 1,000 U.S. schools were notified that they’d been awarded grants to improve physical activity levels among students. Each school will receive $1,000, provided by the Active Schools Acceleration Project.
For many years the United States held the not-so-coveted title of most obese country in the Americas. That designation has recently transferred to Mexico, according to the The State of Food and Agriculture report released by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
Does it matter that nobody seems to know how to cook anymore? Can anything be done about the dangers of industrial farming? How should we respond to the possibility that, largely because of chronic health issues caused by junk food, America’s young people might not outlive their parents?