Why US kids are some of the least fit in the world – and how to change it


While the U.S. brings home more Olympic gold than any other country, many, if not most, American school kids wouldn’t even bring home a tin, if there were such a low-ranking medal.

Recently, colleagues and I set out to see how the fitness of American kids stacked up relative to other countries. 

Our findings were surprising. 

Not only did the U.S. finish at the back of the pack, but U.S. kids ranked behind much smaller and some poorer countries, such as Iceland, Chile and Suriname.

The US brings home more Olympic gold than any other country. But most American school kids wouldn't even bring home a tin, Dr Grant Tomkinson explains. Pictured: Women’s 4 x 100 meter relay winners getting the gold

The US brings home more Olympic gold than any other country. But most American school kids wouldn’t even bring home a tin, Dr Grant Tomkinson explains. Pictured: Women’s 4 x 100 meter relay winners getting the gold

Fitness level is an important indicator of sporting success, but it’s also important for your health. 

You can be fit in different ways – you can be strong like a weightlifter, run…



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