Sunday, April 09, 2006

Junk Food in School, or, Reason 468 Why I Homeschool

We hear so much in the news about obesity in children, and you only have to look around you to see that it is, in fact, a huge problem. I found this article on Yahoo! health and thought it was kind of interesting that lawmakers are "concerned" about junk food in public schools.

Dangerous weight is on the rise in kids. This week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the rate of obese and overweight kids has climbed to 18 percent of boys and 16 percent of girls. Four years ago, the number was 14 percent.

Lawmakers blame high-fat, high-sugar snacks that compete with nutritious meals in schools.

"Junk food sales in schools are out of control," Sen. Tom Harkin (news, bio, voting record), D-Iowa, senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, said Thursday. "It undercuts our investment in school meal programs and steers kids toward a future of obesity and diet-related disease."

Is the problem because there is junk food in schools? I don't know...I want to blame the parents on this one. Yes, schools can help, but good health and nutrition starts um...at home?

I don't know about you, but my mom was a health fanatic, mainly because she was stricken with rheumatoid arthritis in her 30's and didn't want us to experience the same health problems when we were older. I knew what was good and bad to eat, and I would be stricken with attacks of guilt if I surpassed our two-cookie limit, ate too much candy or ice cream, or, worst of all WHITE BREAD! I guess I am my mother after all--my four year old boy already knows what is good, healthy food and what is not. He knows that chicken has protein, carrots have vitamin A and are good for your eyes, he knows all about vitamin C and how it's important to fight disease. Perhaps most imporantly, he knows how important it is to limit treats and get exercise, and he's proud of himself when he's done both.
Parents are responsible for how kids eat, but kids are at school for much of the day, said Margo G. Wootan, the center's director of nutrition policy.
Well, now, that's my point exactly. I don't have this problem because my son gets three home-prepared meals a day, and I myself monitor his activity levels and if he's getting sweets or not. Another reason for homeschooling.

Should they take junk food machines out of schools? YES. But will that stop kids from eating junk food? Not if Mom and Dad aren't setting a good example and teaching them at home to eat healthy diets. The nanny state just can't touch the heart in quite the same way as mom.

1 comment:

  1. If you are interested in more information about the importance eating good food and of families eating together I encourage you to read "The Surprising Power of Family Meals : How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier and Happier" by Miriam Weinstein

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