Our kids and fitness

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor:

When I look at the kids of today and see their fitness level, I shake my head in disbelief. In the 1980s, when I was a kid, an obese kid stood out like a sore thumb. Now it's the total opposite; a slim kid stands out like a sore thumb. When I was 17 years old, I could run a lap around Bluefield High School then goal-tend a 90-minute game of soccer and, at the bell, be only as winded as if I ran from my car to my front door.

I am certain that if a teenager today tried to duplicate that, one of two things would occur. One, they wouldn't round the first corner before dropping to their knees heaving like their lungs were 90 years old; or, two, worst-case scenario, have a heart attack.

Now, while most North Americans blame the parents for the poor health of our kids, I think society's technical evolution is to blame. Why? A majority of today's youth sit all day. They sit at a computer at school. Gym class is almost extinct. Then, after school, they hang out with their friends on Twitter, Facebook and My Space, or they're playing thousands of games on computer. Heck, when you say ‘why don't you go out and play?', this generation looks at you like the 1955 kids looked at Michael J. Fox in the movie Back to the Future.

TV is no better. When I was a kid, I had three TV channels with no remote. I had to walk back and forth to turn it on, flip channels or turn up the volume, and I had to play with rabbit ears during a northeastern blizzard to get a perfect screen on a 13-inch TV in my room. Kids now have a minimum of 65 channels on country cable and over a thousand on satellite with a remote and movie-theatre-size TV screen. Basically, what I'm saying is, the way we're spoiling our kids now is slowly killing them.

A commercial once said that today's kids are on the brink of being the first-ever generation to not outlive their parents. If this becomes reality, we only have ourselves to blame.

Evan Larter,

Charlottetown

Organizations: Bluefield High School

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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