Monday, May 21, 2007
In Somerville, MA, they did a study for 1 year. They fed the kids healthy foods and educated the parents on healthy meals and snacks. Then they refreshed the crosswalks and encouraged biking and walking. What a novel concept. I mean it's not like we've ever heard that we should have the kids exercise more. No, instead they're pushing the curriculum for the "No Child Left Behind" What a joke. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making sure our kids are educated, but I honestly feel they are going about it the wrong way. They are taking the arts (including band) and physical education out of the schools, and just pushing the kids to learn. Well, I don't know about anyone else, but when I was in high school, there was no way that I could have kept learning without some sort of exercise to clear my mind of the stress. Now my son doesn't have to take physical education unless he decides to join a sport (he's in football). What else should we expect if we take away the kids playing time, the exercise time, the time to get out and run off all that energy. Instead we tell them to sit and learn. Then we complain that there percentage of obese children is going up. Yet with all the sports that we have our kids in, if we don't teach them the balance of good eating, it's not going to do them any good either. It's time to remember how this goes... we need to eat fruits and vegetables, and we need exercise. That's how to combat obesity. This study only proves what the rest of us know.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Here's a shocker. Children of obese parents are twice as likely to be overweight themselves, even while preschool age. Not only that, but children of low income families tend to be obese. Ok, let me see if I get this right. Children of low income families tend to be obese. The study results showed that about 33% of the children of low income black and white families tend to be obese, but 44% of the children of latino families tend to be obese. Umm my first question is if this is counting illegal aliens. They take the lowest paying jobs, the ones that require the least amount of training and education. I believe there needs to be more help with learning nutrition, planning meals and all that. Low income families that are on WIC (Women, Infants and Children) get free food... however the choices leave much to be desired. When I was getting cereal while I was pregnant and while I was nursing my daughter, the choices were limited. Most of the cereals you can get have less than 3 grams of fiber per serving and were filled with wonderful cooked up additives like high fructose corn syrup. Yum, nice unnatural sugar additive. So healthy. Honestly, it's only since we started using high fructose corn syrup in everything that obesity levels started going up. Can we see a pattern here people? Though I know that it's highly doubtful that it's low income families on there, I've been a member of eDiets for over 6 years now, and I've seen numerous posts about how expensive it is to eat healthy. That's from those who have menus to print out and follow. What about those without menus? What do they eat? Hamburger Helper? Blech, salt and fat. Mac & cheese? Same thing. Frozen pizza? cardboard mixed with fat, yum (NOT!) I've noticed that if you walk into the stereotypical low income store -- Wal-Mart, the number of people shopping there tend to be obese, or at least overweight. Not only that, how healthy do they look? I'm not talking about the overweight part, I'm talking about how their skin looks from eating all the crap. Yet walk into the store, and the healthy foods do tend to be more expensive. You have to know how to shop to be able to afford to eat healthy food on a low income. It's not something they teach anywhere, it's something that you have to learn hit or miss... The food manufacturers don't care, all they worry about is taste. If it tastes good, then it'll sell. I've learned that one inside and out from where I work. Granted, we don't deal with FDA, but there's not all that much difference between the two regulatory departments. Oh wait, there is, USDA isn't going to endorse anything that means we buy less meat. Nevermind that vegetables fall under the Department of Agriculture also. Meat is the big business. Guess I'm getting a bit jaded about the situation. Look at the USDA's website, and rather than putting money toward anything important, USDA is trying to convince Japan to buy US beef. Umm yea, at the same time, they're trying to allow imports of beef from Canada, after all it's hurting US businesses not being able to buy Canandian beef. Nevermind the new cases of BSE that keep cropping up. Mad Cow Disease is gone in Canada. I personally think they need to prove it by going a year without a new case of BSE diagnosed before we open the borders to imports from Canada. Imagine instead of putting all this money into talks with Japan, the USDA started educating people on good nutrition. After all, they supposedly know something about it with being involved in the School Lunch Program. Something to think about.