This week, I read about a study involving nearly 44,000 overweight teenagers that concluded the kids didn’t understand the weight-loss equation of calories in < calories out.

In the study, the girls who exercised continued to drink soda daily (thus offsetting the calorie deficit caused by the exercise), and many of the boys didn’t exercise at all, in favor of playing video games for THREE HOURS A DAY.

I’m no scientist, and I’m certainly no researcher. But it seems to me that math isn’t the teens’ problem. Rather, there’s a work-ethic problem that's derailing their weight-loss progress.

Truly, who doesn’t know that drinking soda and playing three hours of video games every day probably isn’t going to help you lose weight? It looks like these kids wanted to reap the rewards without making sacrifices. Yes, I know many behavioral psychology factors  are at work when it comes to weight loss, but common sense should come into play as well.

I realize the nation’s obesity epidemic is a complex problem, with complex solutions. But is teaching our children (and ourselves as well) to avoid sugar and sedentary activities — and the importance of hard work and sacrifice in achieving a goal — so hard to understand that researchers have to study it?

What do you think? Does your wellness program have a component focusing on childhood obesity? How can employers make sure adults and children alike receive nutrition education needed to lower obesity rates? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit News content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access