In this particular study 492 second, third, and fourth grade students were tested for their Body Mass Index (BMI). Of the 492 students, 202 were girls and 290 were boys. And according to the resulting data, NONE OF THE GIRLS WERE OBESE, and A FULL 92% fell into the normal weight range. Which is to say ONLY 8% fell into the “overweight” range and carried any excess body weight at all!!
The ONLY qualification to participate in this study was that all students had to be able to perform at least one conventional pull up, going from all the way down (elbows straight) to all the way up (chin touching the bar). So they could be boys or girls, tall or short, black or white, Democrat or Republican. It made no difference. But if they could do at least one conventional pull up they were qualified.
The Girls' Conclusion...
The obvious conclusion is that if you’re a girl and you want to avoid carrying excess body weight, start young and learn to do at least one pull up. Do this and odds are better than 9 out of 10 that you’ll avoid carrying any excess body weight. And you’re VIRTUALLY GUARANTEED TO AVOID OBESITY and the myriad of problems that follow in its wake. Furthermore, if you maintain the ability to do pull ups (which requires decent eating and exercise habits) you’ll have naturally armed yourself against obesity for life. Pretty cool don’t you think?
So What About the Boys?
So what about the boys? In this study 85% fell into the normal weight category, 13% fell into the overweight category, while 2% fell into the obese category. This is just another way of saying that 98% of the boys were provably NOT OBESE! Thirteen percent carried a little excess body weight. So what?
As for the 2% who were labeled obese, my bet is that they were the linebackers of the group who had bigger bones and carried more muscle mass than normal kids. In other words, if this 2% were hydrostatically weighed, I’d bet $1000 it would prove that THEY WERE NOT REALLY OBESE EITHER!
Instead, they were victims of BMI’s total inability to accommodate “abnormal” students. That being the case, the ability to do at least one pull up pretty much eliminates the possibility of being obese on the boys’ side of the ledger as well.
Excuses Be Gone!!
Any way you slice it, this 492 student study confirms the intuitive notion that the ability to physically pull your own weight (do at least one conventional pull up) all but eliminates the possibility of being obese regardless of gender. In the words of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists this strategy is “A simple, easily implemented, easily documented, and AFFORDABLE SOLUTION TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY.”
That being the case, there is not even one school, a YMCA, a Boys’ and Girls’ Club, a Scout Troop, a youth church group, or a pre-school in the USA who cannot afford to systematically implement this strategy and win the ongoing childhood obesity war in short order. It’s simply a matter of CHOOSING TO ACT instead of CHOOSING TO TALK about the problem. In the words of Gandhi, “Action exposes priorities.”
*BTW, this strategy is valid for kids from 3 to 93. So if you’re an adult, go ahead and learn to physically pull your own weight. It’s simple and it’s a winning strategy.
** This study simply confirms intuitive knowledge that most people have already. That is to say, nobody is ever surprised when I say, "Obese kids can't do pull ups." Nor are they surprised when I say, "The odds of kids who CAN DO PULL UPS being obese are negligible at best." That's because it's commonly known by most everyone already.