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David L. Katz on Children: "Recess not Ritalin"
David Katz MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP is an authority on nutrition, weight management, and the prevention of chronic disease, and a leader in integrative medicine and patient-centered care. He is a board certified specialist in both Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health, and Associate Professor (adjunct) in Public Health Practice at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Katz is the Director and founder of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, Director and founder of the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT, and founder and president of the non-profit Turn the Tide Foundation. He was formerly the Director of Medical Studies in Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine for eight years.
Katz holds five U.S. patents and has published over 200 scientific papers, numerous textbook chapters, 15 books to date, and well over a thousand newspaper columns and blog posts.
Question: What health programs have you developed?
David Katz: I have five children: four daughters and a son. My son is the youngest. The reason I have five children is that we had four daughters in a row. We thought we were done. Then we came out of retirement to try once more for a little gender balance in the troops and we got Gabriel. Now, Gabe is now ten but when he was five, I gave a talk at Dartmouth, my alma mater, to families in the evening and this was on health promotion. And it was a big auditorium filled with families including my own. So in the front row was my wife Catherine, my four daughters lined up on one side of her, and my then five-year-old son Gabe on the other side who did not want to be sitting still at seven in the evening listening to his dad drone on. So he was very fidgety and basically driving my wife crazy by fidgeting out of his seat. This got completely out of control and I had to excuse myself and say, “Forgive me folks but my son is torturing my wife. I have to intervene.” And I had my son get up, basically, and do a lap around the auditorium to try and work out this restlessness so he could sit still. So he did his lap, came back, sat down next to his mother, and then gave me this impish in-your-face-dad-you-asked-for-it look and took off again and took another lap.
At the end of lap two he never bothered to sit down, he just waved and kept right on going. And three kids got up and took off after him. And when the four of them came around nobody sat down, they all kept going and every kid in the audience under the age of twelve got up and took off after these guys. So we now had thirty-five kids running laps around the audience. To make a story short, what I wound up telling the audience was, you know actually this is much more important than anything else I could be saying now. My son is healthy; I assume your kids are healthy; he’s a healthy five year old boy. Now Lord knows if you’re cooped up with him for any length of time you need to medicate either him or yourself but let’s face it. Rambunctiousness in a little boy is normal. And rambunctiousness should be treated with recess, not riddling. These kids are telling us something.
So looking at that response, just that native, rambunctious response of my son I thought we really should be able to find a way to let kids get up and do exactly this run around for a minute when they need to. A program called ABC for Fitness was born. It stands for Activity Burst in the Classroom. Since that day five years ago, it has been refined by experts in both physical activity and teaching and it is now a detailed instruction manual broken down by grade level and subject matter that teaches elementary school teachers how to take kids through brief bursts of physical activity throughout the day anytime they need it; when the kids are restless, not paying attention, apathetic. Instead of just wasting their time saying “sit still, keep your hands to yourself, pay attention,” take them through an activity burst.
We’ve implemented this in a school district in the Midwest and tested it there. And we found significant improvements in fitness, stable performance on standardized tests, no reduction in teaching time, no increase in the disruptions in the classroom, and a significant reduction in medication used for both asthma and ADHD. You can actually replace riddling with recess if you break recess up so it fits into the school day. The schools have trouble these days finding time for a block of Phys Ed or a block of recess.
So ABC for Fitness is a program developed by my lab that is now in the public domain, free. To the best of our knowledge, we are in hundreds, if not thousands of schools because the program works. It’s very easy, all the materials are readily available and it costs nothing.
Recorded on: July 06, 2009
The weight management expert developed a school program, and released it into the public domain, called Activity Burst in the Classroom (ABC) that helps restless children release their energies.
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A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
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Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.
Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>