The Instigator
Travniki
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Idauntiles
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Public gyms ought to be forced to admit overweight children for free

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Idauntiles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,337 times Debate No: 21721
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Travniki

Pro

Today, I propose that Privately/Publicly owned gyms must be forced to admit overweight children for free on a case per case basis. That is to say the little cake scoffers be allowed to simply walk into a gym and use the facilities granted they are not occupied. This applies to all children from 0-16 years old, who are visibly overweight.

First round is strictly acceptance and the posting of a picture of sardines.
Idauntiles

Con

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reject your demands for pictures of sardines, and debating if we make our way around to that. Good luck, sir.
Debate Round No. 1
Travniki

Pro

The first thing I would like to say, is that the one thing both Sides can agree on is that Child Obesity is a very serious issue, and all institutions must work together to solve this.

My First Contention: Many Obese children cannot afford a gym membership

There is a definitive link between a child growing up in a financially needy household and a child being obese. This can be from many reasons such as a parent cannot afford healthy food or to enroll the child in sports programs. Fast-food is very cheap to buy and usually finds itself a way into being a major aspect of the childs diet. While it is true that running around the block doesn't cost a penny, I believe that open gym membership is a fair and more efficient way to accommodate needy overweight children. It is societies duty to stick up for the needy and that's what this debate is really about.

My second Contention: Obese Children need motivation to exercise

Even if they can afford it, many of the cake-scoffers use a costly gym membership as an excuse not to go. They would rather spend it on pudding and butter. If we relieve the cost of a membership, they will have no excuse not to go, and they will be forced to by their parents. So all-in-all making gym memberships free will be a significant blow against childhood obesity, the black plague of North America.

One last note, we may hear a lot about the companies themselves from Con, but remember, because of poverty and an excuse not to go, not many obese children go to gyms, so making it free will not be a significant blow the the gym itself. In fact, when the child becomes more healthy and active, he will probably buy a membership to continue doing so, therefore this is good for the gym itself.
Idauntiles

Con

Contention one: Diet is more important than exercise.

It is highly unlikely that any gym would acquiesce to demands that obese children be allowed to use their facilities free of charge. Whichever legislative body were to enact such a mandate would have to incorporate some kind of financial compensation. This money would serve the increasingly obese community better by subsidizing healthier food choices. When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, diet has a greater impact than exercise. By making healthier food options as affordable as fast food, better eating can be encouraged, which will in turn result in more widespread weight loss than the alternative offered by the proposition.

Contention two: Forced athleticism

The pro is demanding that children live a more active lifestyle. By advocating that obese children be forced to take advantage of their free use of gym facilities, the pro is essentially demanding that the entire population become athletes. One can't really force someone to live such a lifestyle. It has actually been shown to lead to severe psychological effects in regards to the importance of winning and overall being physically superior to their peers. Such a mindset may lead to less obesity, but could lead to significant spikes in steroid abuse and teen suicide rates. It would be the physical equivalent of Japanese academics.

Contention three: The definition of obesity.

One doesn't need to be especially corpulent to be medically considered overweight or obese. The pro says "visibly obese", yet such a label is highly subjective. Who is making this judgement? An anorexic woman? Another obese man? Some apathetic teenager standing behind the counter? The pro says that these children can simply walk in without even any kind of admissions process. They wouldn't even need to sign their names. Someone with a slight gut could be considered visibly overweight. The ambiguity of obesity is a major issue with the position take by the pro.

Refutation to pro contention one: Many obese children cannot afford a gym membership

The pro is correct in saying that the financially needy do indeed have higher rates of obesity. However, obesity is something which is hitting all levels of American society. He stipulates, against his original statement of what the resolution is meant to allow, that only financially needy kids can take advantage of these free gyms. This is a rare instance of discrimination towards the middle class. Middle class citizens CAN afford a gym membership, but such membership would have to come at the cost of some other activity that child wishes to engage in. Under the logic of the pro, middle class citizens would be excluded, which is contrary to the resolution that the pro seeks to affirm.

Refutation to pro contention two: Obese children need motivation to exercise.

This is where the pro advocates forcing children to go to the gym. Forcing. Not even implying the importance. Forcing. Possibly against their will. Furthermore, the pro refers to obese children as "cake scoffers" who would rather spend their money on butter and cake. This derogatory attitude towards obese children is hardly encouraging. Furthermore, my solution of better eating goes a long way towards ensuring that they do not feel bitter resentment for their years of forced athleticism and revert back to their old eating habits. Also, the notion that the parents would force the children at all is a little questionable. The advocation of such behavior is worrisome, but the implementation is unlikely to ever occur. The pro states the parents as the driving force behind pushing their protesting children into the gym, however the bad eating habits of these children are often learned from their parents. Parents have been arrested for child abuse recently for promoting such unhealthy diets, and these people have never had any intention of making their children exercise, even if costly gym memberships were not an obstacle.
Debate Round No. 2
Travniki

Pro

I thank my opponent for his nuanced views on this topic, his excellent debating style, and his clear way of thinking, this has been an invigorating debate

Rebuttal one:" Diet is more important than exercise.

Every child needs at least 60 minutes of exercise a day, and because of suburbia or improper weather, this is not possible without access to a gym. Diet is not more important; children who are very active can consume 5000 calories a day, that's almost twice the average intake, many of those calories being junk food. Point is, moving your body is much more important than what goes in your mouth. Many obese children cannot get exercise, so giving them a healthy diet instead of gym access is irrelevant; a healthy diet is only effective when complemented by exercise, but exercise doesn't need a healthy diet to be effective.

Rebuttal Two: Forced athleticism

Society has a right and an obligation to force obese children to exercise. I am not demanding the entire population become athletes, I am saying obese children must be allowed to have the opportunity to exercise regularly and consistently until they cross the line into being fit. Con doesn't seem to realize being obese already has enormous phycological damage for a child, there is a definitive link between being obese and being socially discriminated (Many children commit suicide from being obese). This would essentially be removing the physical and phycological burden children have from childhood obesity. This does not inspire steroid use or suicide, because it isn't competitive, this is merely the child running on a treadmill for his 60 minutes a day, he isn't on a team that would pressure him to perform excellently, and being fit and healthy will remove a lot of strain. Exercise removes a lot of strain from the life of children, and it is vitally important. Obese children have lots of that strain.

Rebuttal Three: The Definition of Obesity

It would be true that being obese is highly subjective for a grown man or women. But fact is obese children are quite distinguishable, because of their short height, it is very easy to see if they have an excess amount of body fat, and any trained personal working at a health club could identify a obese child. If they can't, say because of a disorder or some perverted vision of what obesity is, then they shouldn't be working at a gym facility. All staff are quite educated in different body types, and anyone working at a gym is probably interested in health sciences and could serve the child quite effectively. I hope all gyms have competent employees, not a "apathetic teenager".

Rebuilding: Many obese Children cannot afford a Gym membership

I never said Middle class children were excluded from this deal. I merely pointed out what I propose is particularly effective because many obese children are poor, and cannot afford a gym membership. I am not manipulative enough to start a resolution and then change it in my opening speech, this applies to all classes of children, but is particularly effective because most obese children live in poverty, and a gym membership cannot be purchased.

Rebuilding: Obese Children need Motivation to Exercise

Con feels that forcing children into athleticism will make them bitter and that they will quit the lifestyle as soon as they can. Once again, this is not a competitive soccer team where the child is pressured by all around him. Many endorphins are released while exercising and it is a very pleasurable experience, no sane person would willingly revert back to the old ways once they become healthy, but even if they do, because they were forced to do it as a child they know that it is entirely possible to become healthy again. Forcing gyms to admit obese children forces the parents to admit that there are no more excuses, and that action must be taken to make their child fit and healthy. This also removes any excuses the child is making for his or her inactivity, and they will be forced by their own logic and conscience to accept that there is nothing in the way of them becoming healthy, and that they must go to the gym.
Idauntiles

Con

Pardon if I seem brief or informal here, I won't have another opportunity to post my argument, and I'm a little pressed for time. I would take a bit more time with this, but my schedule is going to be weird for the next couple of days. I'll just put my arguments in two chunks, I apologize in advance if this results in a lack of clarity.

Rebuilding my position: Exercise is important, but I still maintain that diet is more so. While not such a person myself, advocates of a vegan lifestyle show that simply eating healthier can, minimally complemented by exercise, result in significant reductions in weight. What goes in your mouth makes you fat, but it can also make you thinner. Encouraging going to the gym in such a significant fashion is a poor allocation of resources and effort. Both extreme obesity and its opposite result in psychological strains on children, and the crowd one runs across at a gym, if not the availability of free gym facilities, will encourage extreme muscles and so forth. Simply diverting resources towards healthier eating will result in a trend towards a more "normal" population. Also, going by conventional methods of gauging obesity such as the BMI label only slightly overweight people as obese, so there's potential for this system to be abused.

Rebuttals: There is a strong likelihood that this will fail to benefit the target, the lower class. Lower class children often are forced to start working at a very young age in order to supplement the family income. This is a simple reality, which I have seen evidenced in my personal life. Simple lack of time will result in a lower percentage of lower class citizens taking advantage of this, and in higher percentages of those who can already afford gym memberships taking advantage of this. Furthermore, one can't really make the general population want to exercise, in the same way you can't make them give to charity. Both are the right thing to do, but nobody really wants to do either.

Thanks for the debate, opponent person.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Idauntiles 5 years ago
Idauntiles
Oh yeah, I was treating this like a parliamentary debate, which is why I didn't have any sources. Bit late to be mentioning it, but there it is.
Posted by mongeese 5 years ago
mongeese
The resolution says "public" but the debate argument involves both public and private gyms. I suggest you pick one, and edit the debate accordingly.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
TravnikiIdauntilesTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: con had far superior arguments and pro dug his own grave when he claimed that society is obligated to force obese children to exercise. arguments to the con even though sources would have been much appreciated...
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
TravnikiIdauntilesTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con says the magic phrase..."there is no cause to say this will make the problem better"..Pro fails to show that free access will solve the underlying problems leading to child obesety.