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The Supersized American

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Setting Children up For Failure
The percentage of obese children ages 6-11 is a staggering amount of 34 percent.3/4 of those kids, buy lunch from their own school cafeteria. (Professors House) The issue of obesity is a problem that has mushroomed in just 20 years. Since 1990, the obesity rate more than doubled. The transformations the government has been doing to the menus of US schools, their goal being to improve the health, has been minimal, in my opinion. The benefits a more healthy menu would bring to US schools are better eating habits, encourage better academic performance, and decrease the rate of obesity among young Americans.

The government claims that they are "making improvements" in the schools' food choices. My question is, why are there still bosco sticks, rubbery hamburgers, sweet and sour chicken nuggets, cookies that come in multiples of 3, and many other high in fat foods available in the lunch lines? Yes, I notice that there have been a couple vegetable and fruit choices thrown in there, but what does that do when you still have layers and layers of greasy pizza toasting in the ovens? Statistics show that the average student is 73 percent more likely to become obese if they are eating school lunches, instead of brown bagging it. (Obesity101) Researchers traveled to Alabama, and reported that most of the kids in the classroom could not recognize what a tomato or a potato was, yet many of them eat them often, as french fries and ketchup. I was not surprised by this information, I was saddened by it. Healthy habits need to be enforced in the school systems, because children need to carry their habits on to adulthood. More than 300,000 deaths a year occur because of obesity in adults. (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, 2002-03) By enforcing more healthy habits into children, our country can lower that number.

One thing American parents should be aware of is the sugar and fat levels that their children are consuming in the school cafeteria. If you take a look at the menus in schools, the sugar levels in the juices are increasingly high. In one grape juice, you will be drinking more than 23 grams of sugar. In studies, teachers have admitted that it is very obvious to see the sugar rush in their students. It is also very obvious why they have these, just refer back to that school menu. Consuming these high sugared products, like the ice-cream push-up, the 3 cookies in one pack, and the high sugared juices, mostly likely leads to all the kids who eat them, sending them to an enormous sugar rush, decreasing their focus. In one public school in Kentucky, they had gotten rid of their high sugar drinks like sodas and juices. After a couple months, an immediate result was shown and the academic results improved. (Time Healthland)


In my last point, I want to restate the fact that a student is 73 percent more likely to become obese eating the average school lunch. (Obesity101) Our generation of kids are going to have a shorter life expectancy than our parents. "Young kids are getting what have traditionally been adult-type diseases — type 2 diabetes and heart disease," she says. "It's like advanced aging."(Jaqueline Stenson, MSNBC) I myself, once had the opportunity to eat a salad with chicken in it from the school cafeteria. After trying it, I asked a cafeteria staff member why the meat tasted so “grimy”, or “rubbery”. The staff member then replied it was because the school receives “government issued meat.” As I know from previous knowledge, this means meat such as GRADE D, meat. This is the lowest grade of meat that is edible to eat. The same meat is sold at markets such as “Meijer” and “Aldi”. Students should not be consuming this level of bad meat.
Clearly, it would be a mistake to conclude that obesity does not matter for our health or well-being, that it goes without consequence to eat all the cafeteria cookies we want and let the district health managers kick back and watch all the children of the generations’ waistline expand. This couch potato culture may be cutting your child’s life short. The sugar highs students have are very obviously effecting the academic performance, and we need to stop this obesity epidemic, by throwing out all those cookies, the fatty pizzas and poor meat quality, before every American is tipping the scales.





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