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Let's End Childhood Obesity


Posted by Nancy W.

Let's work together to end the epidemic of childhood obesity. It is scary and sad how ignorant so many kids are about nutrition, which is reinforced by societal modeling. I think restaurants have a responsibility to make kid-friendly food that is actually good for them. Subway has taken the first step, but we all need to be proactive in getting others to follow suit.
 
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Children are not the only ones who are ignorant about nutrition... parents make the purchases. Sure children need to be better educated about nutrition, but the bottom line is that parents purchase the junk. Often out of convince (not realizing vegetables and dip, an apple, banana, or a wrap are just as quick). Not only do restaurants need to take responsibility, but society as a whole needs to do their part. We need to stop traditional thinking of skinny = healthy. Also, when schools need to cut their budget (and I don't know the solution) they shouldn't cut PE (and music) programs first. Physical education is how many children find a special interest in a particular sport and often continue it through college.
NOTHING replaces the responsibility of parents to ESTABLISH good eating habits. At some point parents don't choose what their kids eat. I have two teenagers. I am not with them all the time. If they wanted to eat burgers and fries every day for lunch and eat candybars late at night I couldn't control it. But parents who just making eating right (and WALK THE TALK) just as normal as brushing your teeth, kids will make the right choices even when they have less healthy options. The reason I think restaurants should have nutritional info, however, is that I think sometimes parents are ignorant about how bad some food items are and this would help the education process. I have watched parents order their kids McNuggets because they think it is healthy (afterall, it is chicken and chicken is good for you). It is going to take a societal paradigm shift. Look at the strides we have made in reducing smoking-- we need to get to that place with food, too.
I am not for taking PE out of school, but I am VERY much in favor of making it productive. I have my kids officially waived out of PE because it is such a waste of time (and because they skate/train with their hockey team 3 hours a day after school). In middle school the most dreaded day was when they had to "do the mile." Kids were walking around the track with iPods chatting with their friends. They are never going to learn the rush of what a real workout feels like if PE is nothing more than a social hour where everyone wears matching outfits. Thoughts?
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