Posts Tagged ‘childhood obesity’

Interview with Health and Fitness Expert Tarik Tyler

Friday, April 6th, 2012


Health & Fitness Expert Tarik Tyler

Tarik Tyler is one of the leading experts on health, fitness, and most importantly childhood obesity. Basketball legend, Shaquille O’Neal tapped into Tarik’s vast knowledge for his ABC television series, “Shaq’s Big Challenge”. Tarik helped Shaq work with and train overweight children in the Florida schools. They also worked on changing the school lunch programs to include healthier choices. Most importantly they championed the Governor’s Office to re-instate Physical Education programs in the State of Florida.

Tarik, is also a celebrity trainer having work with such stars as Kate Hudson, Tracey Morgan, and Tiffani Thiessen. Tarik’s true passion lies in helping to transform and create healthy and fit lifestyles for overweight children all throughout the United States. His life goal is to be able to inspire a minimum of 1,000,000 children to eat healthy, lose the weight and stay fit for the rest of their lives. Tarik Tyler is The Founder of, “Bring Gym Back ™”.

You can find out more about Tarik and his incredible work at You can also follow Tarik on Twitter @REALTarikTyler

Here is our interview with Tarik Tyler.

Abundant Health Center: Tarik, childhood obesity in our country is out of control today. What sets The United States apart from countries like Canada or Europe where this isn’t an epidemic problem?

Tarik Tyler: Well the answer to that is rather complex . What we have here is a society that is saturated with things being conveniently brought to you so that there is increasing lack of mobility. As technology and social networks become more of the norm people have settled into communicating at home as opposed to going out and interacting. Consider how children will interact via the various social networks on-line as opposed to going to do something that requires that they interact in the physical world. If you couple that with the savvy and aggressive marketing of foods designed to make inactivity more enjoyable then the United States will continue to tilt towards being more and more sedentary. I’d wager that Canada and Europe limit the marketing of fast food so that’s part of the the reason why it hasn’t reached the levels that it has here. However there are signs that obesity issues are gaining ground in both places as well.

AHC: What can parents do to motivate their kids to be more active?

TT: I believe that parents simply need to be healthy themselves. You can’t motivate your child in terms of staying active with a “do as I say not as I do” method. Playing with your kids and letting them see how much you enjoy the interaction with them is very motivating. Parents should pick out activities that allow both child and parent a chance to experience a new way of making exercise a part of a lifestyle not necessarily a chore.

AHC: What are three things that parents can do to set themselves up as role models of health for their children?

TT: First parents need to involve their kids in their activities. A parent who is healthy and active has a better chance of raising children that are healthy and active

Second let their kids get involved in making healthy and tasty meals. The more they can learn about food and that healthy and nutritious food can taste good too they more they are inclined to repeat what they’ve learned.

Finally,parents should limit their time on the Internet and show children what a healthy level of interaction with people offline can bring. Parents should make an effort to know the parents of their children’s friends. I fully support the “it takes a village to raise a child” idea.

AHC: On a grass roots level what can parents do to get physical education back in schools that are facing budget cuts in these tough economic times?

TT: Parents still have a number of options to keep P.E. in schools. One of the better options is to hire outside organizations to help provide more structured after-school physical fitness programs. The expectation that schools will keep P.E. even though they feel that it’s not as important is like waiting for Santa Claus to show up in July. Mind you I don’t believe in Santa Claus either but you see my point. Parents need to recognize that play is essential to development.

AHC: What is one dietary change that adults and children can make to enhance their health?

TT: If I had to pick one I’d say that it would be more fruit and vegetables and eliminate or severely restrict processed foods.

AHC: Who are some of your mentors and what books that you have read have been an influence upon you?

TT: Mentors? Funny thing is since I’ve been in this business for 25 years and counting not having a mentor has never really affected me. We are all still learning and always changing so each one of us in some way is a mentor to each other. One of my favorite books that got me started about at least the diet side of fitness is Lean Bodies by Cliff Sheats. I still refer back to it when I need to explain that it’s not just about the calories it’s about the quality.

AHC: Is there anything that you would like to add?

TT: We are all shaped by our habits. If you create the habit of exercise and eating healthy and each day you strive to improve then you’ve created a lifestyle. And a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate goal.  On May 1st I will be re-launching my website –  I’m particularly excited to have a ProShop on the site where you can get all the essential tools needed for a fitter and healthier you.

AHC:  Tarik, thank you for your time.

TT:  My pleasure