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SPORTS AND HEALTH: TACKLING OBESITY

• Published on 31 Jul. 2015 • Category :Sport • Tags : 2015

SPORTS AND HEALTH: TACKLING OBESITY

Powered by: Lance Knobel, Director of Programs, Richard Attias & Associates, United States 

Stéphane Bermon, Co-Founder, KB Health Partners, Monaco

Bart Conner, Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion in Gymnastics, United States

Chris Watts, Executive Director, National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, United States

John Bartholomew, Professor and Chair, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, United States

Mohammed AlSayrafi, General Manager, Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, Qatar

The problem of growing obesity levels is an issue that continues to plague counties across the globe.

Obesity rates are soaring around the developed world. So who is to blame, and what can be done to arrest this worrying trend?

In an open and frank discussion, Bart Conner, a Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, demanded that change start in the world of marketing and advertising.

“I actually see heavy people as victims – all they are doing is living the life that has been marketed to them,” he stated.

Mohammed AlSayrafi, General Manager of Anti-Doping Lab Qatar, agreed that the solution was not as simple as proscribing more exercise, highlighting instead the need for a balanced approach.

“It is not only diet,” he said. “It is diet and exercise together – if you don’t have the synergy between the two then you’re in trouble.”

John Bartholomew, Professor and Chair at the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, called for change from the ground level up.

He felt more needed to be done to educate and motivate children at a young age, potentially by incorporating physical activity into classroom lessons.

“The opportunity for sports in the US really dries up in the middle school ages or going into high school,” he warned. “It is something that needs to be pursued to a greater extent.”

Chris Watts, Executive Director of the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, also admitted that not enough was being done to ensure that youngsters across the US were healthy and active.

He said: “A reported to President Eisenhower said that American youths were not as fit as their European counter-parts, and 50 years later it is exactly the same.”

He did add, however, that he thought progress was being made in the education of children in the fields of both healthy eating and exercise.

Stéphane Bermon, Co-Founder of KB Health Partners, concluded the discussion with a sobering yet ultimately encouraging thought.

Although he stressed the need for a healthy, balanced diet in the overall make-up of a healthy individual, he finished with the profound statement: “Physical activity is the most powerful medicine ever produced.”

It was a hard-hitting message which resonated with everybody in attendance. 


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