I've been hearing a lot about "Making American Great Again" lately, but we might want to start with "Making America Strong Again," because If we don't change things drastically in the next decade, the kids who will come of age will be the fattest, most unhealthy, and least ready-to-serve generation that America has ever seen. According to a report from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, made available to me at The Aspen Institute's Project Play Summit, three quarters of the kids in this country don't get enough exercise to be considered healthy.
In 2015, the percent of youth aged 6 – 12 who were active enough to be healthy fell again to 26.6 percent, down from 30.2 percent. And the slide continues into the teen years, which reflects the same trend (from 42.7 percent to 39.3 percent). The report also states that it's worse for girls than boys, though it doesn't share that data.
This is a direct result of our pay-to-play society where only one in five kids from households with less than $25,000 in income participate in enough athletics to be considered healthy. If you've got some dough, it's not as bad; 45 percent of kids who come from households with income of more than $100,000 are exercising enough. But that's still less than half.
Really America? Is this how we nurture the next generation of leaders? This is not the recipe for "Making America Great." This is a recipe for making America soft and weak.