Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Very Mucho Cool Video

These were lifters my generation idolized growing up. Men like Rigert, Alexeev, Vardanian, along with their American competitors like Dube, Patera, Bednarski, Grippaldi, and Lowe. Of course back then all we saw were still photos. Now, 50 years later, it's still exciting to see these men in their prime captured on film. Their lifting and physical presence is still impressive today. In spite of the "Cold War" that was still in progress at the time, it was impossible not to want to emulate their lifting prowess. I know that for myself, at least, I believed that deep down they really wanted the same things as me. To lift heavy and be happy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Some Thoughts on Technique

So does throwing heavy things a long ways.

High level lifting requires solid technical skills along with maximum strength levels.

Following are some excerpts of an article by Sean Waxman that he posted on his website. http://www.waxmansgym.com/ Sean is a U. S. weightlifting coach who has been outspoken in some of his opinions on optimal lifting technique. I like his breakdown here of some coaching variables and explanation of mechanics vs. technique. I believe this applies to throwing as well as lifting. I will include some comments of my own in BLUE.
Weightlifting Mechanics vs. Weightlifting Technique: The Science and Art of Coaching and the State of US Weightlifting
Weightlifting is one of the few endeavors
Along with throwing... both the scientist and artist can fall in love with because its beauty lies in both realms. The scientist is drawn to its order. It has a distinct beginning and desired end, and everything in the middle can be measured with precision. The tape rules. Based on these measurements, the scientist can describe with great accuracy the best way to achieve this end. The artist is drawn to its beauty. What could be more beautiful than an effortless throw?There is a process of deliberately altering variables, which will create a desired outcome. How skillful the artist is with recognizing which variables need manipulating and how to manipulate them will determine how beautiful the end result will be. A great coach is both scientist and artist. Well said. We've always said that too.
The artistic aspects of coaching Weightlifting and throwing such as training design and the manipulation of training variables are subjective. How a coach handles these aspects will depend heavily upon the specific discerning interpretations of his/her own experiences. These interpretations will be unique to a particular coach. The acute and chronic responses/adaptations to training will vary from athlete to athlete making it impossible to develop a consistent and precise “best” method for success. Again, training for optimal results requires individualization.
In contrast, the mechanics for lifting a barbell properly are 100% objective. It’s important to note, mechanics are not the same as one’s technique. Interesting statement. I believe this is true of throwing as well. Mechanics of Weightlifting are the forces involved with lifting a barbell and the causes behind them. Technique is the visual manifestation of these forces. Causes behind force production such as gravity, mass, and distance can be measured with precision. Using the aforementioned constants, variables involved with the mechanics of force production such as joint angles, bar trajectories, and balance can be manipulated in order to establish the most efficient pulling mechanics. In the late 70’s after decades of measuring and analyzing hundreds of thousands of their own athletes, the Soviets were able to quantify the optimal pulling mechanics. Have optimal throwing mechanics also been quantified? I'm not sure. Obviously each implement would have it's own mechanical absolutes. I would guess that speed and height of release would be constant.
The Soviets used the scientific method for establishing their conclusions. The results were tested with carefully documented, controlled experiments, which could be repeated by any other researcher. They did not rely solely on observation, hearsay or conjecture. Since the late 70’s, sport scientists from around the world have performed a multitude of research on pulling mechanics. Because humans haven’t evolved since the 70’s, and the effects of gravity haven’t changed, researchers have not found a more effective way of pulling a bar than was found by the Soviets. Cold war child that I am, I don't believe the Soviets or anyone else had the patent on performance in lifting or any other sport. However their methods are certainly worthy of study.
Although some top lifters may have observable differences in “technique”, this is not an indication of new lifting mechanics. As I have shown the mechanics of pulling haven’t changed. This much is fact. The observable differences in “technique” have to do with an individual’s peculiarities such as anthropometry or leg/torso strength distribution. These peculiarities will dictate actions, which will suit an individual lifter’s needs. The fact is, regardless of what we can observe, the mechanical action of the lifter/barbell complex for the top lifters around the world remains unchanged.I have to agree with this. Individual characteristics are manifested as variations in technique. But in the end, each thrower has to obey the laws of physics.
Until genetic engineering yields athletes with identical DNA, technique will continue to vary among lifters. And throwers And, until the laws of physics change, observable technique may be called “catapulting”, “Triple Extending”, or “Triple Lindy” - the fact remains, the forces involved in lifting a barbell (and throwing) and the causes behind them are the same now as they were 30 or more years ago.

The fall of communism allowed for the professionally trained Eastern Block coaches to emigrate. Armed with the tools of both scientist and artist, they teach the very mechanics some US coaches arrogantly disregard or don't understand and continue to transform mediocre Weightlifting nations into powerhouses while… this absurd debate lingers on.
Sean has an ongoing "discussion" with some other lifting coaches about certain aspects of lifting technique. While I don't think the throwing community has an equivalent basic difference of opinion, I think his explanation of the difference between mechanics and technique is relevant to coaching the throws.
Perhaps that has more to do with the current state of US Weightlifting than the triple extension.

Fight until your very last breath!


Sean Waxman is the owner of Waxman’s Gym. It’s an Olympic Weightlifting
and Sports Performance gym located in Southern California near the Los
Angeles airport. Its the only gym in Southern California dedicated to
all things Olympic Weightlifting!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Why Sports Participation is Dropping

You don't have to be a world champion to enjoy lifting. Unless you are Chinese, then you may have to win in order to continue to lift.

Here is a report from our neighbors to the North, Canada. However it also reflects what is happening here in the U.S. as well. I see this happen a lot in weightlifting. Once a lifter finds that he or she is not going to be  world or even national champion, they hang it up. The idea of lifting for personal health, wellness, and improvement are not enough for some.To me, the idea of getting stronger, healthier, and lifting more was motivation enough. Competing and being able to bring home a medal or trophy now and then was "icing on the cake". So often today, the idea that "second place is the first loser" has permeated many youth sports and the result of this all or nothing attitude is that many kids drop out along the way or develop an unhealthy attitude about sports and their purpose. The beauty of a free market economy is that anyone can choose to be a lifter and invest as much effort as they want, without external pressure to perform at a certain level, Some of the remaining communistic societies select who gets to train for competition and participation is not always voluntary

Whether young or old, rich or poor, Canadians are less active these days. In fact, according to a new study, our participation in sports is at an all-time low. But why? Are Canadians getting lazier? More complacent? More distracted?  In the first of two parts, we examine some of the problems with our approach to youth athletics. Part 2 looks at why adults are dropping out of sports.

At a time when sports appear to be more popular than ever at elite levels, participation rates across age groups continue to decline, according to a new study prepared by Vital Signs and the True Sport Foundation.

Are your kids' sports bad for your health?
"Eighty-five per cent of Canadians agree that sport participation builds stronger communities, but at the same time we are seeing a dramatic drop in sport participation across the country," says Lee Rose of Vital Signs.

"We are trying to select out the 'talent' far, far too young.
- John O'Sullivan, Changing the Game Project
Perhaps most troubling is that many kids are deciding to hang up their cleats or sneakers or skates at a young age.

By about age 13, many youngsters have already stepped away from an active life style. And it can't simply be chalked up to laziness, video games or "kids these days."

In fact, adults should get much of the blame. Most kids quit because they think they're not good enough — a by-product, experts say, of the hyper-competitive environment that lords over most youth sports.

"Just because a kid at age 10 isn't on a scholarship track doesn't mean there shouldn't be a place for them in the game," says John O'Sullivan, founder of the Changing the Game Project, a Portland, Ore.-based organization trying to put the "play" back in "play ball."

Obsessed with the best

Nearly three quarters of Canadians — 73 per cent — agree, saying that children's sports have become too focused on winning at the exclusion of fun and fair play, according to the study.

And yet, our continued obsession with rooting out the "best" players at an early age is having a devastating effect, O'Sullivan says.

"The problem is we are trying to select out the 'talent' far, far too young, by starting highly tiered teams with cuts. We're saying these eight-year-olds are on the top team, so they get the best coaching and best facilities, and these other kids go down this house league track. "

O'Sullivan says this makes little sense, even if your only goal is to develop the top athletes.

"There was a time when hockey was October to February. Now you have spring hockey and summer hockey and conditioning camps."
- Karri Dawson, True Sport Foundation
"We cannot know at that age which kids will make it and which kids won't. What the science says is we are best off training as many kids as possible with the best coaches and best environment as long as we can, letting them grow and then seeing what happens.

"But to say we are only going to focus on these 10 or 12 kids is crazy."

Indeed, the desire to select and specialize can actually backfire on parents and coaches who have big dreams for their young athletes.

Karri Dawson is director of the True Sport Foundation, a national charitable organization dedicated to advancing sport in Canada and a partner on the study with Vital Signs.

She says parents should look at athletes on Canada's Olympic teams.

"Chances are they were multi-sport athletes," she says. "They played hockey in the winter, soccer in the summer and they participated in different sports at school. They cross-trained, and they exercised all kinds of different muscles and abilities that one day made them gifted at a particular sport."

Rising costs

Even if children are able to navigate the ultra-competitive landscape of youth sports, and even if they actually have the skills to compete at the highest level, it still may not be enough.

The Vital Signs/True Sport Foundation study finds that the rising cost of sports is also a barrier for many families. The most recent data shows that six out of 10 children from low-income households are active in sports, compared with 8.5 out of 10 from families with incomes over $80,000.

"Some people believe sports are no longer seasonal, that children should be participating all year long," says Dawson. "There was a time when hockey was October to February. Now you have spring hockey and summer hockey and conditioning camps. When you add it all up, it increases the cost of sport."

In addition to the socioeconomic gap, there's a gender element to Canada's sports squeeze. According to the study, one in three men in this country regularly participate in sports, compared with one in six women. That's partly because girls are less likely to be active when they are younger and more likely to drop out earlier than boys.

But there are ways to fix the problem, says Dawson.

Role models

"I think part of it is creating new sport experiences, creating programs that are specific for girls, that are interesting for girls," she says, "as opposed to trying to shoehorn them into programs they have no interest in or don't have friends participating in, things they don't see as fun."

Dawson also emphasizes the importance of role models who demonstrate physical activity at a young age.

"Statistics show that young girls are more likely to be active if their mom is active," she says.

Sounds straightforward. And, indeed, the key to keeping more Canadian kids active, say the authors behind the report, could be keeping things simple.

"It doesn't have to be the big hockey league or big, institutionalized sport," says Rose. "It can be as simple as a pick-up game of hockey or soccer in the park in the summer."

To do that, though, we may need to drop our obsession with being the best, says O'Sullivan.

"We're so scared that we aren't going to keep up that we're doing all this stuff that goes against everything we know about how to make sports better."

Not all training is voluntary.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

One Rep Max

We never really know what we are capable of unless we find out what we cannot do.

Awhile ago, I had a conversation with one of my sons-in-law. He is a former wrestler (several times New Mexico state champion) with limited weight training backround. He is now taking some classes in weight training as part of his program as a physical education major. My daughter, whom he is married to, is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and an accomplished lifter who held state records in both Utah and Arizona as well as medaling at the national junior championships. Sometimes they get into deep and even heated discussions about what he is being taught in his classes concerning weight training, so she calls on dad to back her up. They were visiting Kayenta yesterday and were in the weight room while I was training a group of kids. My son-in-law asked, "Do you have your students do a 1 rep max?" "You bet", I replied. He stated that in his program they were taught that a 1 rep max could be dangerous and that there are tables and formulas available that allow one to project a one rep max from repetition. Summoning my patience, I tried to diplomatically explain that all such charts are bogus at best. Anyone who has trained hard for any length of time finds that the only way to determine what a given individual can do for a single rep is to perform a single rep with maximum weight. Some individuals are better at reps than others. There is variation between upper and lower body lifts...etc. There is no chart or computer program that can accurately predict a one rep max for each individual.In the March 2009 Milo magazine author Bill Starr tells a humorous story about a 72 year old man he trains who performed 150 reps on the bench with an empty bar (45 lb.). According to one formula he has a 745 lb. bench press.lol "Ok", my son-in-law said, "so the formulas are bogus, still, is there a legitimate reason for doing a one rep max?" I replied that I believe a one rep max is essential in teaching an athlete to develop and produce a maximum summation of force. Working with young athletes, I find that most do not know how to "go all out". A one rep max teaches this quality. It also is very motivating to know exactly what one is capable of doing and a one rep max is the only truly accurate measure of
maximum strength. Especially in some sports, such as throwing, (our favorite)it is basically a one rep max event. Each competitive throw is a one rep maximum and this is a skill that needs to be practiced. His next question, "Aren't one rep maxes dangerous?" "Is the risk worth it?" I have found that logic to be faulty. How is a one rep max more dangerous than the 5th rep of a 5 rep max for example? It is my experience (and Bill Starr's as referenced in the above mentioned Milo article)that injuries are more likely to happen doing higher reps for max than singles. When dong singles the athlete is focused and prepared. Trying to grind out the last few reps of a 8 rep max for example, the athlete is fatigued and more likely to be sloppy in their technique. His last question, "Then why do football players do the max reps with 225 lb. test in the NFL combines?" Sorry, I really don't have an answer for that.

Bulgarian-born weightlifter Boyanka Kostova caused an international squabble when she decided to represent Azerbaijan at the 2012 Olympics.
Maximum effort is a learned skill.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Physical Education Saved My Life

An amazing specimen who excelled in Football, Track, and MMA among other pursuits.

A great article by an amazing athlete.........

Heisman Trophy Winner: Physical Education Saved My Life
By Herschel Walker

My father gave me a quarter every day before school when I was little so that I could buy myself a snack.
But I wouldn't buy a snack. Instead, I gave the quarter to a classmate, just to get someone to talk to me without calling me "dumb" or "weird" or "fat."
I was a chubby kid with no confidence. I was bullied, called names, and beaten up. I barely spoke because of my stutter. Teachers would put me in a corner and tell me I was "special." I was scared to death of everybody.
My saving grace was physical education.
Physical activity became my refuge. Being active was a healthy way to channel my frustration and insecurities.

Physical education gave me so much: focus, purpose, hope. Those elements helped turn that scared little boy into an accomplished athlete, a valedictorian, and the successful businessman I am today.
Without physical education, I wouldn't have learned many of the skills that improved my life both on and off the football field. These skills remain with me, fueling my advocacy for all children to reap the same benefits from physical education that I did.
P.E. can help children who face many different challenges in and out of school. It can benefit kids of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
That's why I've been a proud champion for physical education for more than 15 years. I believe that physical education can be a catalyst for positive change in a child's life, just as it was in mine. Research shows that quality physical education can help build health, confidence, and better academic outcomes. Quality P.E. teaches physical-literacy skills and healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Yet, despite being in the midst of a full-blown inactivity epidemic, our country isn't embracing physical education.
How bad is this epidemic? Nearly three-fourths of American youths aren't getting the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by health experts.
The results are deadly. Research reported by the sports-leader group Champions for America's Future, of which I am a member, shows that one in every 10 premature deaths in the United States is the result of inactivity, owing to ailments that include heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Problems related to inactivity also contribute to the fact that seven out of 10 young adults can't qualify for military service in this country. In addition, a lack of physical activity costs our economy an estimated $117 billion annually.
"If we want to give children a path to better health and improved academic outcomes, while also pushing back against the inactivity epidemic, we need to invest in quality P.E."
Physical education can help fight those results. Getting children to embrace healthy habits makes a difference. Research indicates that the longer kids stay active during childhood, the more likely they are to be active when they're adults. In fact, young people who are active throughout adolescence are roughly seven to 13 times more likely to remain active as adults.
Disappointingly, physical education has become harder to find in school settings over the past decade. According to a 2014 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of schools that require students to take physical education for graduation or promotion to the next grade level declined from 96 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2014.
We need to reverse this trend and teach these lifelong skills.
We need to commit adequate resources and class time to P.E. We need to maintain appropriate teacher-student ratios. We need to foster high-quality instruction that teaches children how to enjoy living active lives, not merely how to play certain sports.
The benefits of making that investment will travel beyond the gymnasium and into the classroom: Studies have shown that physical activity can improve academic performance and mental health.
One study found that an after-school program providing an hour or two of physical activity significantly improved participating children's working memory, a key component of learning, reasoning, and comprehension. Another study showed that incorporating 20 minutes of physical activity into the school day significantly improved test scores in reading, math, and spelling.
The case for investing in P.E. is compelling, and Congress has the perfect opportunity to take action very soon when lawmakers craft a bill for federal spending for the upcoming fiscal year. The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act, an education law that promotes academic opportunity for all children, authorized a $1.6 billion grant program to support a variety of services, including physical education programs.
This is the year for Congress to seize the moment to recognize the important, positive impacts physical education has on health and academic performance. Congress should fully fund and embrace the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program to support vital programs like P.E.
This funding is crucial for making P.E. possible in more communities across the nation, especially because, according to one survey, the average physical education program receives only $764 per year from the school budget.
If we want to give children a path to better health and improved academic outcomes, while also pushing back against the inactivity epidemic, we need to invest in quality physical education. It can change the life of a young person.
How do I know it can change lives?
Because it saved mine.
Herschel Walker is the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and played for the National Football League from 1986 to 1997. He is a member of Champions for America's Future, a national network of athletes and coaches that supports policy investments to improve educational and other opportunities for students.

Follow the Education Week Commentary section on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

'Biggest Losers' show why we regain lost weight

Good body composition is a result of lifestyle choices.

This is a very interesting article that shows the importance of using sound methods for weight control. I believe (even know) that it is possible to reset your metabolism, but it's not easy or done instantly. That's the problem. The "Biggest Loser" show takes weight loss to the extreme so far as trying to force the maximum weight loss in the shortest amount of time possible. As the article shows, that isn't the best way to approach healthy long term weight loss. Slower and more gradual changes in calorie adjustment and activity levels allow the body to adapt and bring about more permanent and sustainable changes. Drastic and sudden changes are not healthy and are tough to maintain over the long run. The worst case scenario is the sluggish metabolism described in the article below. Be smart and plan to be in it for the long run.

'Biggest Losers' show why we regain lost weight

The first woman to win "The Biggest Loser" recently admitted to Oprah Winfrey that she has regained much of the weight she lost on the reality show.

Now researchers at the National Institutes of Health say they have figured out one reason Ali Vincent couldn't sustain her weight loss — and why it happens to many of us, as well.

In 2008, Vincent lost 112 pounds, going from 234 to 122 pounds as a contestant on the popular NBC show. But on Facebook April 19 and in an interview with Winfrey, she said she had topped 200 pounds again and was enrolling in Weight Watchers.

That makes Vincent a member of a not-so-exclusive club: those who lose weight, only to regain it. Studies have suggested that the odds of maintaining weight loss for the long term are about the same as the odds of surviving metastatic lung cancer: 5 percent.

Now researchers at the National Institutes of Health may have figured out why with the help of other "Biggest Loser" participants. They studied Season 8 contestants for six years and found that the dieters' metabolism, which slowed during weight loss, never regained its vigor.

This meant that even after they had lost weight, they had to continue to eat less than their peers or they would start gaining again. It was as if their bodies wanted to return to their highest weight and was willing to fight to get there.

In a report on the findings, The New York Times explained how Danny Cahill, who won the competition in 2009, has regained more than 100 pounds, just like Vincent. And 12 of 13 other contestants in Season 8 have regained weight; four are heavier now than before the show.

"When the show began, the contestants, though hugely overweight, had normal metabolisms for their size, meaning they were burning a normal number of calories for people of their weight. When it ended, their metabolisms had slowed radically and their bodies were not burning enough calories to maintain their thinner size," The Times' medical writer Gina Kolata wrote.

The findings, Dr. Kevin Hall, a metabolism expert at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease told Kolata, are "frightening and amazing."

They also provide insight for anyone who keeps losing — and finding — the same 10 pounds They suggest that even after reaching a weight-loss goal, we can't go back to eating "normally" without gaining weight. In Cahill's case, the researchers determined that his metabolism had slowed to the point where he had to eat 800 calories less than other men with similar profiles in order not to gain weight.

This doesn't mean we are doomed to always return to our highest weight, Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, told Kolata: "It means we need to explore other options," he said.

Until science finds a way to get our metabolism revved up again, the trick to maintaining weight loss seems to be eating less than we want and exercising like mad. The show’s doctor, Robert Huizenga, tells former contestants they should exercise at least nine hours a week, The Times said.

But the findings should provide psychological relief to anyone trapped in a cycle of dieting.

Dr. Michael Rosenbaum, an obesity researcher at Columbia University, told Kolata, “The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology, not a pathological lack of willpower affecting two-thirds of the USA."

EMAIL: Jgraham@deseretnews.com

No shortcuts to a great healthy body.

Monday, May 9, 2016

We don't have to choose

Strength or Technique? Why not develop both at the same time?

For as long as I have involved in lifting and I'm sure long before that, there has always been an ongoing discussion about the relationship of strength and technique/skills in throwing and other sports. This is kind of like the chicken and the egg argument. Which comes first? No eggs without chickens and no chickens without eggs. It's obvious that while the proportions of each quality differ from individual to individual, every top thrower has both strength and technique in sufficient quantities. On one end of the spectrum we may find a really strong thrower with barely sufficient technical skills while on the opposite end we may find a thrower with less strength, but who possesses great technique. We never find a really weak thrower or a "motor moron" at the top levels. The current discussion seems to center around the question of which quality should be developed first. Some argue that young throwers should focus on technique, or learning to throw, then get strong. Others say get strong then learn to throw. In my Reservation brain it's never been an argument. Who says we can't do both? In fact, I can't imagine any coach who would not want to do both. Yes, young athletes need technical skills and the sooner they develop them the better. That doesn't mean that strength training is on hold while they learn to throw. Young athletes can get started on a sound strength training program at the same time. In fact, I believe the results are synergistic and complimentary. In other words, improving both qualities simultaneously brings better results than trying to address them separately. Young athletes who are passing through puberty are carrying truck loads of growth hormones and can handle a large volume of work. Teach them throwing technique and teach them lifting technique.
One of my pet peeves are coaches who say "I want to develop throwers, not lifters." and use that as an excuse to allow sloppy lifting technique. I agree that throwers do not need to copy competitive lifters in volume and intensity, but there is no reason why they shouldn't strive for the same level of technical excellence. It doesn't take any less time to lift improperly than it does to do it right. It may take a little more time to teach and reinforce good lifting technique up front, but once it's taught and mastered it will allow the young athlete to train hard with less joint stress and injury potential.
Here in the United States our educational "leaders" seem to think that scholastic academic achievement and athletic achievement are mutually exclusive.That if we emphasize physical qualities, that this will somehow inhibit mental development. The reality is our best students usually excel in both. Success is not a finite quantity that needs to rationed out. There is enough to go around and it is contagious. It spreads. We don't have make a choice. We should promote both. I see this throwing development "argument" in same light. Let's have it all.
We can have it all.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Many U.S. Adults Think Kids' Health Is Worse Today

Not everyone's health is worse today!

This article reflects the irony of living in 2016. We have the greatest access to medical knowledge and see things that would have been considered as miraculous just a generation ago. Yet our youth are growing less healthy than the previous generation. Our problem is not lack of nutrition or knowledge, but too much food, especially the wrong kinds of food. We have many miracle drugs to fight disease, yet our problem is now abuse of "recreational" drugs. While life has become easier due to technological advances, inactivity is killing us. The good news is that all these problems are fixable, easily fixable. It boils down to choices. It is in our power to make the right choices to live the warrior lifestyle and to teach others to do so.

Many U.S. Adults Think Kids' Health Is Worse Today

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of American adults believe children have worse emotional and mental health than children in previous generations, a new survey shows.

Many of the nearly 2,700 respondents also believe youngsters today have higher stress levels, less quality family time, and poorer coping skills and personal friendships, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Mott is part of the University of Michigan.

The survey, published April 18, also found that 42 percent of the adults believe children today have worse physical health than when the adults were children. Respondents aged 18 to 69 were more likely to think that than respondents 70 and older.

"We have seen major advances in medicine and public health over the last century that have greatly reduced children's illness and death. On the other hand, conditions like childhood obesity, asthma and behavior problems have become more common," poll director Dr. Matthew Davis said in a university news release. Davis is a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at C.S. Mott.

Mark Wietecha, CEO and president of the Children's Hospital Association, which collaborated on the poll, added that "the dominant view from this poll is that children's health is worse today than it was for generations past, and we need to more urgently address these challenges."

Previous polls by the hospital have found that adults consider bullying, stress, suicide and depression to be leading child health concerns in the United States.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers resources on child health.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, April 18, 2016

We can all choose to be active and wise in our habits.