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Arts and Culture

The Seal as Role Model for Obese Kids

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Posted on Jun 29, 2009
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afsc.noaa.gov

If this is supposed to be the poster child for fitness, boy, are we in trouble.

A program at the New England Aquarium is aimed at inspiring obese children to get up and exercise by watching seals stretch, jump and swim. It’s hoped that the seals’ athleticism will move kids to get up and “you know ... run,” as one official put it.

AP:

Yes, he’s obsessed with grooming, and he occasionally barks at you, but in most ways Isaac is not your typical fitness instructor. He weighs in at 350, eats 16 pounds of food at a time and he’s only 9 years old. And he’s a seal.

Isaac is one of five northern fur seals to be featured in a new exhibit at the New England Aquarium that aims to entice an increasingly obese generation of kids to get moving.

The seals twist, stretch, leap out of the water, run on their flippers and shoot like missiles under and between the fiberglass rocks. Isaac even stands on his head. The “Move It!” program at the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, which opens Wednesday, uses the seals’ athleticism as an example for children.

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By JuneBug, July 4, 2009 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why not simply teach children AND their parents (perhaps by way of flyers to take home from school) about good nutrition and exercise?? Schools need to make PT mandatory too…like when I was in school. Limit time sitting on computers and at the TV. Do something outside with your children, walk, play ball, etc. Exercise does more to improve the mind then all the Ritalin in the world.

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By rockinrobin, July 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

GEE: canola oil, slow mentabolism, causes weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, high fructose corn syrup, same; chemically treated salt: connections with many top Corps working in unity to EXPLOIT which is target & harm for PERSONAL PROFIT & GAIN: used in everything like asparteme containing formaldehyde, one of the most dangerous toxins on earth, Rumsfeld, & ALL connected with Monsanto, who also owns a pharmacutical; & Rockefeller has SAME connections with chemical companies & owns 93 per cent of the PHARMA; who CREATES pills to CAUSE diabetes, weight gain & more: don’t blame the CHILDREN or the ADULTS: blame the ROOT CAUSE of the PROBLEM: when the FOOD CHAIN is CORRECTED; the NUTRIONALISTS LISTENED to instead of a “paid” doctor who gets PAID to meet prescription quotas; when the SAID people are HELD ACCOUNTABLE PERSONALLY for THEIR ACTIONS which have NOTHING to do with POPULATION control: THEN & only THEN will the PEOPLE first of the USA be FREE: and so will others GLOBALLY.

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By purplewolf, July 1, 2009 at 1:22 am Link to this comment

As a child, elephants, hippos and pigs were symbols used to compare obese children with. After over 45 years of fighting this condition, I have had it with the ignorance of not only the doctors, who are not nutritionists, but the majority of people in general. I have dieted since the age of ten and have managed to keep physically busy and doing more work than the majority of the skinny people and usually on less than 500 calories a day. I have gone months on less then 200 calories a day, yet the medical doctors seem to think that I need to eat less. The nutritionist at the hospital freaks out when they are told of this situation and have told me that because of this starvation mode I have lived for for so long it has basically shut my metabolism down to nothing and that anything I do eat goes automatically to fat storage as my body thinks there is no food out there for survival.

Most my diet is home grown veggies and served raw, fruit very little meat and caffeine-to keep going. Everything that the doctors claim about the foods they deem as fattening and say that when you eat this-I interrupt them and tell them they are wrong because the things they love to list are not in my diet,or if once in a while if I do have something on their list is averages out to one no-no food item every few years. Over 90% of what they list is not even in my house, let alone the food I buy or eat. And fast food is out, as I don’t have the money for even McDonalds.

One of the doctors favorites is salt-which I have not used since 1966 and then they bitch about the amount of salt in fresh tomatoes, well the human body needs at least one teaspoon of salt a day to work correctly and I fall well below that.When the doctors have to try to blame organically home grown natural foods are all bad for the human body, it stands to reason there is not one food out there on the whole planet that is good for the human body to ingest.

These doctors need to really educate themselves as to the fact that not every fat person overeats, eats the wrong things or is not physically active enough. They need to find real answers as to why not everyone fits into their narrow and wrong view as to why this has happened. The main reason I still have this problem is brought on by the medical people who really don’t know what they are talking about.

Sorry about the rant, but I am sick and tired of seeing over weight humans compared to another species of animal that is naturally large and other than cats and dogs that people have as pets who tend to become obese, you really don’t see other animals displaying signs of obesity unless they have had some intervention by humans, like steriods and growth hormones.

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By AlliNi, June 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh God, who was the genius that thought this up? Obviously this person was never an overweight child who was teased mercilessly. The LAST thing you want to be associated with is an animal comprised of blubber that shakes and rolls when moving on dry land. It doesn’t matter how fast and agile seals are in the water - the kids will be associated with the land version by their peers. Ugh. And I don’t understand how a child that needs to lose weight would see this seal as a role model who advocates for an active lifestyle. If I were a child, I would think that the seal is telling me its ok to be fat since a seal NEEDS its fat for survival. Mixed messages, big time!!

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By WykydRed, June 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

jjbaulikki,

That’s because you have a brain. Isn’t life odd with one? lol

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By steve, June 30, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent story truth dig!!!  Keep them coming!!!

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By WykydRed, June 30, 2009 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

... Or, it could teach fat kids that hey!, fat people can have fun in water too, damn it! I see a future in England where terms like “Orca fat” and “You’re as big as a whale!” are terms of endearment and pure awe.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Truth Dig has truly cheered my dark, evil heart today! oh man….

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By Cecil Green, June 29, 2009 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is this a joke? Please tell me so…

“Hey fat kid! Since you’re fat, like this seal, why not move around ‘n stuff, like this seal?”

Thought bubble: “Golly, I hope this workz.”

WTF!?! The truly frightening thing is, this might actually motivate some thick-brained kid. “Duh… I’ma gonna be like-a dat seal, duh…” (Flaps his flippers.)

How’s about teaching kids to lay off the white bread? Cutting-out breads and sugary drinks will do a hell of a lot more for a child’s weight than teaching him that he’s “fat, like a seal.”

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By NYCartist, June 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Well, as Jack Benny used to say, really slowly,
perhaps they could give the kids clubs…and the kids could practice chasing seal cubs who aren’t afraid of humans, as hunting is done in Canada.  Stop picking on fat kids.  Take the junk food out of schools, including commercial material used as “free literature/handouts”, tv ads for soda and packaged foods that are unhealthy, etc.

It’s often “blame the victim”.  And, the various local governments want to close or tax fast food restaurants which are in poor neighborhoods, so once again the poor get punished for being poor, and for not having regular priced, fresh veggies/fruit in their local stores…and the high cost of organic veggies make it impossible for the poor to buy.

So why not give poor people real money for food?  Along with removing the junk in schools.  What’s for school lunches these days?

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