The Beckham Health Factor
Available April, 2014.
Photo by Marc Shmitd
Beyond the hype and the politics, one concrete benefit Miami gets from David Beckham’s soccer team coming to Miami: enthusiasm for physical activity. Not a small feat, considering risk factors for heart disease like obesity and type 2 diabetes are now threatening children and teenagers.
Unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary life style trigger these risk factors, commonly associated to aging not youth. It must be noted that the presence of more than three risk factors increases tenfold the probabilities of a heart attack or stroke. The good news is that a healthy life style can reverse risk factors. A healthy life style includes a diet rich in vegetables, fish, fruit, not smoking, and exercise.
David Beckham said he wanted to create the best team in the US. Great teams, he was reminded, are made with great players. Had he in mind players he wanted to bring from Europe and Latin America? He said many players had contacted him to show their interest in coming to Miami, but he also wanted to open academies in Miami to develop local talent, to work with Miami’s youth.
Hundreds of kids showed up in soccer gear that same afternoon, ready to demonstrate their potential on the field. If Beckham can get our kids to put down computer games, and run, we must applaud and support soccer coming to our shores. “After all,” said a youth soccer couch, “junk-food, smoking and sitting all day in front of a computer monitor are the natural enemies of soccer, a sport that welcomes all, no matter what your ethnicity or national background, boys and girls, short and tall. The ‘Beautiful Game’ can unite us all in health.”
Dr. Mauro Moscucci, Chief of Cardiology, Department of Medicine at the University of Miami, and Raul Guerrero coauthored Crónica del corazón, a guide for a healthy heart in Spanish. Both are soccer enthusiasts.