The latest research on exercise among American youth confirms what many of us already suspected: Most kids just aren’t moving enough (“Going Soft in a Hurry,” July 16). Even though these figures are only the latest addition to a growing body of evidence on inactivity’s role in our health, the study’s lead author, Dr. Philip Nader, explained that “people don’t recognize this as the crisis that it is.” And there’s a reason for that.

By narrowly focusing on food in obesity campaigns and health policy, dietary scaremongers have monopolized the public’s attention. However, research indicates it’s not what we eat, but how much we move that determines our health. Reinforcing that notion, the National Weight Control Registry — the group that tracks Americans who have effectively lost weight — reports that there’s no single recipe for success among its members’ diets. Instead, the only common thread is physical activity.

Food cops may be eager to vilify our diet, but our children don’t need to give up certain foods or go on restrictive diets. They simply need to move more: Turn off the TV, climb the stairs, and take that extra step.


Senior Research Analyst Center for Consumer Freedom Washington, D.C.