Health Fitness Shout Out: Hats off to Disney!

Hats off to Disney, indeed!  Last week, the media giant banned advertising of junk food during the cartoon hour. This forward-thinking group of execs has thrown down the gauntlet – but is this advertising really the root of the problem?  Today I checked in with Carrie Rowell, an instructor who has been involved with personal trainer education at Globe University for over seven years.

Although Carrie appreciates Disney’s gesture, she thinks the decision stems from a deeper issue and that we have a bigger problem at stake.  (Or should I say, steak?)  🙂

“Parents tend to rely on television and other electronic gadgets to babysit their children. Getting kids out from behind the television, cell phone, computer, or iPad is mandatory. Children need to go outside and play! At the same time, parents need to make sound nutritional choices for their children and let the children be a part of that healthy process.”

She has a point.

When teaching future personal trainers about child fitness and youth recreation, she likely never thought parents would be an obstacle.  I have a dear friend who would agree with Carrie that parents, not advertising, are the biggest contributors to the junk food/childhood obesity epidemic.

This friend of mine is a personal trainer and coaches middle school kids. He had to put his foot down years ago and demand that parents stop bringing coolers full of snacks during PRACTICE.  (For those of you born before 1975, you may remember parents bringing soda for the entire team after a GAME. It was likely the only soda you drank all week.)

My friend the personal trainer and coach told parents that kids don’t need chocolate-covered energy bars, sugary fruit roll-ups, salty bags of chips, and 1/2 gallon bottles of blue energy drinks. They would be just fine running around for a few hours. If they got hungry, they would survive. Promise.

I have to agree with these sentiments. After all, it is the parents who are going to the grocery store and paying for the groceries. That gives them the decision. If your children throw fits in the grocery store because they want junk food, you have the following choices:

1. You can be a parent and tell them no.

2. You can leave your children at home to play outside next time you need to shop.

3. Or, better yet, go play outside with your children and have your groceries delivered. (I know, it is more expensive, but in the long run, it will probably pay off!)

So, our Mickey Mouse hats are off to you, Disney, for caring about childrens’ health and saying “No!” for the parents who can’t seem to turn off the television. And we thank you for taking a stand and risking an immediate loss, knowing the long-term dividends would be great. (Parents, take note!)

For more information on the Health Fitness Specialist degree at Globe University, click here.