Diverse Opinions on Exercise

We are tracking the history of exercise advocacy through the past few years. In 2015, Indoor Extreme Sports (Long Island) was in the news. Kids could “be the game,” playing versions of laser tag or paintball that are strenuous and challenging, but with fewer consequences than previous entrepreneurs had offered. For instance, there is no messy actual paint to clean up. The picture on this page, by the way, is of a traditional indoor paintball facility.

Getting back to Indoor Extreme Sports, founder Ryan Chin told the press,

Simulating a gaming experience, Indoor Extreme Sports […] offers kids many options for active recreation… We have developed game play at our facility that mimics those of today’s most (video game) popular titles. We always try to develop adrenaline-pumping activities.

It sounds expensive, and of course, it is. All kinds of fancy costumes and equipment are involved, and special effects. The teams probably cost as much to deploy as a regular army. For customers, the financial experience is much closer to a day at a major theme park than a fast-food lunch.

Chin had worked two decades as a commodities trader, but changes in the industry phased him out. In other words, he was a businessman first, scouting for the next big thing. Did he find it?

Yes, because either he or others have started similar businesses in other locations, hosting children’s birthday blowouts and corporate events. No, because the pandemic came along. In either case, games of this genre are definitely not playable by a child at home. Although Chin’s company originally talked about “getting kids off the couch,” there is very little here for the average kid. We all need something we can do at or near home, every day.

Who needs the exercise?

Contemporaneously, The New York Times published a story with the straightforward title, “To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More.” Journalist Aaron E. Carroll mentioned these points:

A 2011 meta-analysis […] looked at the relationship between physical activity and fat mass in children, and found that being active is probably not the key determinant in whether a child is at an unhealthy weight.

From 2001 to 2009, the percentage of people who were sufficiently physically active increased. But so did the percentage of Americans who were obese. The former did not prevent the latter.

The debates about diet versus exercise, and about diet and/or exercise, in relation to obesity, might cease if only there were not so many financial issues and emotional issues involved on all sides.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “Indoor Extreme Sports: Getting kids ‘off the couch’,” SILive.com, 04/23/15
Source: “To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercising More,” NYTimes.com, 06/15/15
Image by Markus Tacker/CC BY-ND 2.0

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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