For years our school systems have been feeding our children from boxes and cans. Prepackaged, processed foods and fried foods are the standard. Meals made from scratch with fresh whole fruits and vegetables are too expensive for the most of our schools’ meal budgets. And the schools supplement their budgets with vending machines filled with soda and sugared snacks and chips.
The result has been two-fold: our children’s mental/psychological welfare has suffered and so has their health. We’ve conducted studies that have proven a truly nutritious lunch program results in a sharp rise in academic ability and a decrease in conduct problems. And yet, current practices continue.
We know the way we feed our children contributes to poor health, including obesity, and yet we continue. Not only are we “saving money” with our current lunch program, we are supporting big business.
But the status quo will soon change. Why? Because we’ve seen the light? Because we recognize how truly stupid it is to ignore the nutritional needs of growing children? Because we’ve recognized the link between poor nutrition and chronic or terminal illnesses? Or declining test scores?
No. It seems we may change the way we feed our children because we are running out of soldiers.
Mission Readiness, a group of retired military leaders, is lobbying to eliminate junk food from the schools because obesity is the leading medical reason military applicants are rejected; 27% of military age Americans are too obese to serve.