Fitness Tests for Kids

September 10, 2009

A reader commented on a post I did on fitness testing. He said:

Dear Fred,

After reading your artical on the fitness gram test administerd by the NYC schools it was interesting to hear someone elses point of view. Currently we have been administering the test in our school system for eight years. Many of the concerns you point out have also been debated here through the years. My biggest concerns as an educator are accuracy of the results along with consistency with how the test is given from school to school.
At best I see it as an instrument to help student understand personal resposibility for their own health and fitness.
In the 2010-11 school year Georgia will begin requiring a fitness assesment on all students 1st thru 12th grade. Do you have recommendations for a better test instrument that can be given in a timely and effective manner?

My reply:

Well, fitness testing is not the answer that's for sure. The timeliest test is none at all.

The real test for fitness for kids is general health and markers for inflammation as well as signs of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

If the child is lean, has no abnormal blood markers for inflammation, then all is basically well. Why test their fitness?

The BIG issue is food. FE: Whole grains are NOT healthful. Neither is low fat milk or low fat products. Carbohydrates contribute to adiposity, overeating, type II diabetes and inflammation. 

There is no need to test children for fitness. Kids that are healthy are fit by default. If a kid like sports, fine. If not, fine too. ALL kids who eat healthfully will sleep well and will have excess energy to play and play they will. They always have until recently as the bulk of our food has become laden with fructose which is stored as fat making the child hungry and hour after she eats.

Disordered eating leads to eating disorders.

Feed a child fat and meats, vegetables and some fruit only and everything else will fall into place naturally.