TMN (The Movie Network) has been showing a three-part documentary this month, each 90 minutes long, about the obesity epemic affecting children in the US. It's chilling how lobbyists prevent Congress from passing laws to ensure schools have safe, healthy food in their cafeterias. It's especially bad in Wisconsin, which was profiled last night. It's unbelievable how much junk food is served up in school cafeterias despite Michelle Obama's (and others) efforts to convert school cafeterias acrross the US to healthy food. And that fruit juices - apple, orange, grape - have as much sugar as soda! And that shit like high energy drinks are sold in school cafeterias.
When I went to school in the 1950s and 1960s, all I took for lunch in a brown paper bag were either peanut butter or ham and cheese sandwiches, and an apple - five days a week. I drank either cold milk from the school fridge or water. That was it.
School cafeterias - elementary and secondary - in the US serve up fries, burgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, and other high fat content foods, along with soda, energy drinks, as well as milk and fruits (that go largely unsold). Why are children being fed that shit in school????
US school cafeterias do have what they call healthy hot lunch specials - but look pretty disgusting and are mostly ignored by the children.
Not everyone suffers from obesity in the USA - but the problem is growing, as are diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems rarely seen before in young children. It's insane.
I think the solution is to ban school caferias from serving anything except sandwiches, fruit, a salad, milk, and giving free water - in glasses, not plastic bottles. Unfortunately, how do you defeat the lobbyists who fight this tooth and nail???
And - only seven states have mandatory physical education in elementary schools - I think it's the same for secondary (high) schools in the US as well. Growing up in Ottawa and just outside Ottawa, physical education was mandatory - every day.
The documentary showed that all over the US, kids are more sedentary than ever - playing with video games, social networking (facebook) on computers, and watching television - instead of going outdoors and getting exercise. No wonder there's a problem not only in the USA but here as well - our lifestyles here reflect the USA so much.
ETA: The documentary showed that pizza is classified as a vegetable in some school cafeterias. That's the problem in a nutshell.
(posted at babble as well)