In order to make America great again, President-Elect Donald J. Trump will have to make America strong again. In the words of former President John F. Kennedy, “A nation is only as strong as its citizens.” And we’re currently a nation in which obesity (a GLARING NATIONAL WEAKNESS) is an epidemic!
Executive Director of the President’s Council
In that light I’d like to make formal application for the position of Executive Director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. I realize that historically this position has been filled by celebrities who serve as PR vehicles in order to “promote” fitness and health to America’s youth. But with the ongoing epidemic as living proof, I suggest the PR approach to childhood obesity prevention has failed for almost two decades now!
Systematically Reduce Obesity
Given the opportunity, I would implement a hands on approach that will systematically reduce childhood obesity in schools across America. I’ll personally guarantee significant, documented progress within the first year of implementation. And within one decade I predict that childhood obesity and the myriad of problems that follow in its wake will become ancient history.
Repeal and Replace BMI (Body Mass Index)!
My first act, when appointed to this position will be to declare war on BMI! In fact our campaign slogan will be “REPEAL AND REPLACE BMI! MAKE AMERICA STRONG AGAIN!”
BMI is an Obstacle
Why make BMI the first target? Because BMI tells you almost nothing about changes in obesity levels. And despite being designated the measurement tool of choice by the CDC (among others) BMI represents a huge obstacle to making progress on obesity. It undermines progress by confusing the conversation. Realistically, the inability to measure change accurately (not to mention the inability to motivate anyone other than grant applicants) undermines all attempts to make progress. So let’s start by REPEALING BMI!
Physically Pull Their Own Weight
So what replaces BMI? Pull Ups. More specifically I suggest we replace BMI with leg-assisted pull ups which use suspension training straps in order to give all participants a place to start successfully and a way to progress regularly (immediate success and regular progress are key ingredients to this naturally self-motivating process) until they run out of leg assistance and they’ve developed the ability to physically pull their own weight. You see kids (people) who can do even one pull up are ALMOST NEVER OBESE! This process is simple. It yields accurate feedback. It motivates. And it takes 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the individual child.
Kids Arm Themselves Against Obesity for Life
Once pull ups are mastered, it’s a matter of maintaining the ability (which requires decent eating/exercise habits and 30 seconds per week practice) and participants will have successfully armed themselves against obesity for life.
It Saves $300 Billion Annually!
Furthermore, according to the Society of Actuaries obesity costs America in excess of $300 BILLION ANNUALLY. So the cost savings of implementing this strategy all by itself is monstrous. But the residual effects go well beyond dollars and cents.
A School Superintendent’s Trifecta!
In school obesity has been shown to undermine self-esteem, which in turn undermines school attendance (upon which schools are funded), academic performance (upon which schools are judged), and social behaviors (60% of bullying is said to be rooted in obesity). In other words, beat childhood obesity and school attendance increases, academic performance improves, and behavior in the hallways gets better. It’s a trifecta for any school superintendent who wants to make his school great again. Just imagine how all this carries over into the workplace.
American Society of Exercise Physiologists/$100,000,000
Finally, the Pull Your Own Weight Foundation has recently partnered with the American Society of Exercise Physiologists in order to apply for the MacArthur Foundation’s 100 and Change grant ($100 Million dollars to one entity) with the goal of implementing this strategy in schools across America. We were among 1900 applicants and for several reasons we fell short of winning this grant. However with a little funding (way less than $100,000,000) we could not only start the ball rolling but we could live up to the projections made above. In the process we can help President-Elect Trump actually make America Great and Strong Again!
In the meantime, for all the reasons listed above and more, I hope Mr. Trump will seriously consider my application for the Executive Directorship of the President’s Council on Fitness. I’ll look forward to hearing back from him at his earliest convenience.