Sports Gene Test?

Should I sign my kid up for basketball or swimming? Should I take him for a run at the track, or work on his swing?

Toddler is the age when moms begin to sign their kids up for introductory sports and recreation programs. Sometimes you can tell which sport a child loves and the decision is easy. But other times, moms have no idea what sport a child will like or be good at. That's the way it is for me. I'm still searching for my son's sport -- soccer didn't work, so we're next attempting swimming and karate.

You might have heard the news ... pretty soon, a new gene test will take the guess work out of decisions like these.


The test, which is not widespread yet, looks for a gene called ACTN3, according to the New York Times. Some variants of this gene instruct the body to produce a protein that's found specifically in fast-twitch muscles. Those muscles are capable of the forceful, quick contractions necessary in speed and power sports. Another variant of the gene actually prevents the production of the protein.

Cafe Kierna's even talking about what gene testing might mean for older children over in Big Kid Buzz.

The test determines whether a person would be best at speed and power sports like sprinting or football, or endurance sports like running, or a combination of the two. A doctor in Boulder, Colorado is charging $150 for the quick swab of your little one's cheek along the gums, followed by a lab analysis.

A number of doctors disagree with the test. They say there are hundreds of other genes that play a role in forecasting athletic talent, and that this current test is only in its infancy and not helpful for parents at all. What do you think about giving your toddler such a test?


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Is your toddler already enrolled in a formal sports program? How did you choose it -- did your child ask to play that sport, or did you feel they needed a little push?

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