Pfohl, Shellie Y., and Drew Brees. “Motivating Kids To Move: The Role of Sports Stars in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity.” Liebertpub.com. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers, Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2012. <http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/chi.2011.0800.pfoh>.
This is a guest editorial by Shellie Pfohl and Drew Brees. They argue that “one-third of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese” (Pfohl and Brees). Childhood obesity has increased at an extremely fast rate. Pfohl and Brees states, “In 2010, approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years were already obese.” In the 2008 Physical Acivity Guidelines for Americans, at least 60 minutes of some type of physical activity should be applied to children ages 6 to 17 years old. America’s rates of physical activity for children are affected by “cultural, social, and environmental factors” (Pfohl and Brees). A prime example is television. We have “raised a generation of youth who spend more that 8 hours per day in front of a screen” (Pfohl and Brees). To stop this alarming fact, everyone has to play an important role in preventing childhood obesity (Pfohl and Brees). I always see some celebrity on the television, especially football players, promoting physical activity for children. In a study by Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, it is proven that children learn many essentials to life from professional athletes like learning about physical activity, sports, and life in general such as following their dreams (Pfohl and Brees). Children listening to their role model’s advice helps them apply these important messages in their life like in the classroom, during their sport, etc. (Pfohl and Brees). These athletes are children’s role models in life and children tend to do what their role models do. According to “A National Survey of Kids (and Their Parents) About Famous Athletes as Role Model, children rank famous athletes second only to parents” (Pfohl and Brees). This proves that athletes dramatically affect children who see them as role models. “In October, 2007, the National Football League (NFL) launched NFL PLAY 60, a national youth health and fitness campaign to encourage young fans to be active for at least 60 minutes a day” (Pfohl and Brees). This program inspire children to get some type of physical activity every day for at least an hour. “The goal is not to develop more professional athletes but to ensure that all kids enjoy the positive health benefits of daily physical activity, and have opportunities to do so through quality physical education in schools, unstructured play, afterschool programs, and organized sports” (Pfohl and Brees).