Zero enforcement of better diets dooms kids to suffer obesity
     2015-11-20      By McKenna Copsey    editor@geringcitizen.com
It’s no secret that there has been a rise in children becoming overweight and obese in America over the past few years. Between all of the junk food and fast food we consume at alarming rates, it seems we have no control over this destructive trend.

My family is no exception. We’re constantly running around to practices and tournaments with no time to cook meals ourselves, so we drive to McDonalds and order Big Macs and a sides of fries.

Even when we’re in the grocery store and walking down the aisles, we pick up bags of chips and packages of Oreos and throw them down our throats without a second thought.

But when you think about it, is it really our fault for buying these processed foods that are advertised in every other commercial on TV?
It’s as if these images stick in our minds when we even just think of food.

They brag of juicy tomatoes and crisp onions or maybe a special mix of vitamins and minerals crucial for a healthy diet, but the real health “benefits” lie in the nutrition facts and ingredient lists featured in small print on the side of the wrapper or box that we don’t deem worthy of a blink of our eye.

Unfortunately, students aren’t taught to look past the misleading information unless we enroll in classes such as Foods or Culinary Arts, which usually take the backseat to core classes and other electives.

The only other subject that touched on healthy eating was my sophomore year of Physical Education, but it’s hard to say if my fellow classmates were paying attention or even if my male counterparts received the same lessons. P.E. is only required for sophomore students, but is available to upperclassmen as an elective.

I personally stopped eating lunch when I was a junior high student.
Between spoiled milk and stale food, I’m glad I was able to digest everything.

These revolting memories shouldn’t be placed on the school cooks.
Instead, I believe that they’re due in part to the stipulations restricting the preparation and assembly of meals by programs such as the standards of nutrition in the National in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs included in Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010.

According to the press release of these nutrition standards, “This rule requires most schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans-fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements.”

The First Lady’s message adds that the new regulations are based on the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy’s recommendations to “enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend.”

It truly does sound like a great plan, however, unless the food is appetizing and tastes at least decent, students will just throw the meals away and end up consuming less that they would have normally.

If everyone visited the school lunchroom and merely observed the end of the period as students were dumping their trays, I believe that they would be more than surprised at the sheer amount of food being deemed trash.

Nothing productive has been enforced to reduce the number of overweight and obese children. Without more focus by schools and the government, this problem is not going to vanish. It will continue to grow in the future and affect America’s next generations.

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