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How politics and policy can hurt our health.

Guestpert : Kenneth Rippetoe Category : Health, Fitness, and Beauty Tags : Nutrition, Policy, Obesity

Kenneth is the founder and head coach of One with the Water, a nonprofit swim school that offers need-based scholarships to children with special needs, adults, low-income families, and service-disabled Veterans. He is a certified US Paralympic Disabilities Swim Coach and a strength and conditioning coach.


Intersection of policy and politics is problematic. Nutrition guidelines (food pyramid) set in 1970 were primarily politics. The government record on fitness regs is spotty. In 90s, shifted from vigorous activity to low/moderate intensity, deemphasizing strength, coordination, agility, and power highlighting cardio fitness instead. These guidelines were adopted by CDC, American Heart assoc. and American College of Sports Medicine.

Federal guidelines suggested 150 min of moderate exercise a week. (Walking 30 min 5x a week) It’s a low standard that most meet accidentally. It’s not enough. If you don’t elevate your heart-rate, you’re not working out. 

 

The risk reduction for vigorous activity is two times greater than for moderate exercise. But government is ignoring this because they and other associations are beholden and backed by corporations. I don’t believe there is transparency. Take the previous nutrition example: recent work from University of San Francisco reported that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 60s to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease. The first paper blaming saturated fat had clear ties to the sugar industry. 

 

Some evidence that same players are driving the narrative that lack of activity, rather than sugar consumption, is driving the obesity epidemic. (One anti-obesity group published a video directly dismissing sugar as a cause and then was forced to disband because of their ties to Coca-Cola). Another group pushing licensing, American College of Sports Medicine received over $1.6 million from 2010-2015, from Coca Cola company. 

 

ACSM advocates licensure for trainers working with clients who require minimal to advanced clinical support. They are trying to create a credentialing system where doctors would prescribe (their) trainers to patients. The program is underwritten by Coca Cola. Even the CDC has received grants from Coca-Cola.

Fields of science exercise are littered with bad science and govt could just make it worse, guided by non-profits and institutions underwritten by companies like Coca Cola and other large corporations.