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kids’
fi tness
CATCHING THEM YOUNG
© IST
OCKPHO
T
O
.COM/MARZANNA SYNCERZ
A research project
spearheaded by ‘father
of aerobics’ Dr Kenneth
Cooper has shown that
US schoolchildren who are
physically fit not only get
higher academic grades
but also have fewer
problems with attendance
and discipline. Now a UK
charity plans to bring the
initiative over here.
Rhianon Howells reports
“G
ive me a child until Forum reporting that 30 per cent of boys
Dr Kenneth Cooper was twice
he is seven and I will and 27 per cent of girls in the 2- to 11-year
nominated to be US Surgeon-
show you the man.” old age range will be overweight or obese
General, but turned it down to focus
Originally uttered by a by 2020, Wallace is so concerned about
on his passion: childhood obesity
Jesuit saint way back in the 16th century, rising child obesity levels in the UK that he
this well-known saying still encapsulates is currently seeking funding to replicate a
a universal truth: that the best time pioneering, US-based initiative here. General twice during George W Bush’s
to influence a person’s mindset and administration, Cooper turned down
behaviour is while they’re young. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT the opportunity on the grounds that
It’s certainly a sentiment shared by The largest children’s fitness study in the they wouldn’t let him focus on his core
Murdo Wallace, founder and chair of world, the project is the brainchild of Dr passions. “They wanted to concentrate
Wright Foundation Research, the non- Kenneth Cooper, founder and chair of on AIDS, avian flu and bio-terrorism,”
profi t arm of Scotland-based exercise The Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, he says. “I wanted to concentrate on
referral organisation The Wright Texas, and its research arm The Cooper obesity, particularly among our kids,
Foundation. With the National Heart Institute. Nominated to be US Surgeon- and the cost of healthcare.”
34 Read Health Club Management online february 2010 © cybertrek 2010
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