By Ken Reed
Last week I wrote about a new study that concluded that exercise is more important than diet for maintaining weight loss.
I received some feedback saying I placed too much emphasis on exercise and not enough on a healthy diet; if the goal is not only maintaining weight loss, but overall wellness.
Well, a couple days ago, I came across another new study. This one found that bad diets kill more people than smoking. The study determined that poor diets kill 11 million people around the world annually. The study concluded that human beings not only eat too much sodium, sugar and fat, but also not enough nuts, seeds, milk and whole grains.
The key takeaway from these two studies is that both exercise and a healthy diet are needed to reach and maintain an optimal level of wellness.
At League of Fans, we are especially interested in the health of school-age children in the United States. With the growing influence of social media and video games, K-12 students are becoming increasingly sedentary.
While there have been numerous nationwide initiatives designed to make school cafeteria food healthier, and to increase the number of healthy alternatives in school vending machines, there has been a lot less done to get kids more physically active in schools. In fact, the opposite is happening. Educators are creating more “seat time” and less “movement time.” Elementary schools are being built without gyms, physical education class time is dropping significantly, and intramural sports programs are being cut. The result? The most sedentary generation this country has ever seen.
This is especially troublesome for our nation’s school system because a multitude of studies have shown fit kids are not only healthier but they perform better on academic tests and have fewer behavioral and emotional problems.
Yes, we all need to eat better, including K-12 students. And we all need to move our bodies a lot more during the day — especially our kids, who are too often chained to their desks in school.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon