On Thursday, February 25th, President Barack Obama is schedule to take to the airways with leaders from the Democratic and Republican parties in order to publically hash out legislation that addresses the health care crisis in this country. The idea is that if we put a public spotlight on the players from both sides, neither can lie to the American public about healthcare reform any longer…public accountability 101.
The cost of such legislation is estimated to be one trillion dollars over the next ten years, which averages out to a hundred billion dollars annually. The big question with such high profile legislation is inevitably, how do we pay for it? Both sides of course will bring their ideas to the table.
In the meantime, First Lady Michelle Obama has recently placed the bulk of her political chips on defeating childhood obesity. Interestingly enough the cost of obesity and related problems in this nation is roughly $150 billion a year according to the most recent US Center for Disease Control estimation.
That is to say, defeating childhood obesity provides the $100 billion that Barack needs to pay for health care reform. It also leaves an annual surplus of $50 billion dollars with which he could clean up the environment, improve education, or pay down deficits.
The numbers are huge and large, but fairly straight forward. The question in this little scenario becomes “How do we defeat childhood obesity?” In that light we’d like to introduce a simple solution that the American Society of Exercise Physiologists has dubbed “a Functional Acid Test Strategy (FATS).”
One example of FATS, known as Operation Pull Your Own Weight (OPYOW), is a strategy built on three simple observations. First, kids who can physically pull their own weight (do pull ups) are never obese. Second, if started young and given access to a height adjustable pull up bar and a technique known as leg assisted pull ups, most kids can learn to do pull ups in a predictable amount of time.
And third, if the first two observations are true, then it logically follows that most kids can learn to naturally immunize themselves against obesity for life by learning and maintaining the ability to do pull ups. The American Society of Exercise Physiologists has described OPYOW as “A simple, easily implemented, easily documented, and affordable solution to childhood obesity.”
There in a nutshell is how Michelle Obama can defeat childhood obesity, Barack Obama can pay for health care reform, and America can raise a generation of kids who are strong enough, resilient enough, and resourceful enough to fend off all the systematic poisons that we ask them to grow up in these days.
We definitely can do it. Yes we can. But we have to summon the will and the courage to actually take action. Now there’s the real challenge.