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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Obesity in America

I just read an article in this morning's newspaper about some food company lobbyists swaying Congress into relaxing healthy food requirements for school cafeterias.  The lobbyists want to see a dab of tomato sauce on pizza count as a vegetable again.  They want potato and salt limits to be upped.   I get it: these lobbyists represent companies that produce and sell large quantities of pizza and french fries to school systems and their profits have dropped recently due to cutbacks.

The food companies are putting their bottom line against the children's bottom lines.  Literally!  American children in the past couple of decades have gotten bigger.  It's not from healthy eating!  It's from living on too many carbs and fats in their diets and a lack of daily exercise. 

I recently traveled outside of the country and immediately noticed when looking around international airports and touristy areas which people were Americans.  The big ones!   I think it's interesting because our forefathers came and settled in America to gain freedom, to live life to the fullest, and to work hard and then get rewards from putting in the effort.   Perhaps bigger bodies and bigger children is the end result of this.  

But, I'm no doctor and I know with extra weight on a person's frame and the wrong kind of food put into the body, comes all kinds of health issues.  Diabetes is rampant now.  Knee and hip problems.  Clogging of the arteries.  There's even the need for bigger, stronger seats, and clothing.  The list goes on and on. 

A change has to start with our children!  We can't let food companies tell Congress to ignore food standards and allow them to rule what our children eat at school.  One industry's profits can not be worth the price of unhealthy people and years of medical issues and bills.  There has to be a change in thinking.   You ask why I care so much? Some of  the children who eat in school cafeterias are getting breakfast & lunch there, and their families are on gov't assistance.   That's fine.  We should definitely feed them.  But, we can't feed them empty calories and fill them with food that has no positive substance. We can't make them fat!   Selfishly, I think as a taxpayer I could very well be paying for their medical needs the rest of their lives.  And morally, it's wrong to intentionally give unhealthy food because it's cheaper and a few companies make more money from it.  It isn't fair to our children. 

I feel like I'm really on my soapbox right now.  Sorry.  Sometimes an issue jumps out at me and it bothers me to the core.  I feel responsible for all our young people and want to give them the best start in life - here in America - as possible.  

I want our children to grow up healthy and as active as possible, so they can lead a productive, happy life.  Giving them proper nutrition in school seems like a no brainer to me.   It starts a lifestyle of eating habits for life!  It can really make a difference to us all! 

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