America wakes up and sees fat kids

Depositphotos_21674419_l-2015Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease – on the menu in American schools? The foods students eat daily for lunch, and in many cases for breakfast as well, are responsible for a growing epidemic of health problems, according to critics. The situation has become serious enough that the public and the media has finally begun to take a critical look at what children are eating, especially in the place where they are a captive audience, the school cafeteria.  The connection between what a child eats in the school’s cafeteria and his subsequent behavior and performance in class is not widely understood, but the link between school sanctioned junk and America’s Super Sized children is hard to miss!  Greg Critser, author of    Fat Land, How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World, explains the economics behind the explosion of fast food. fatlandFor every dollar a fast food company spends, only 20 cents of that pays for the actual food. The remainder goes for fixed costs such as the building, salaries and advertising. So when a customer is offered the chance to “supersize” his selection for only a small increase in cost, the company still profits.  

Journalist Shannon Brownlee explains the dynamics. “The flakes in your kid’s breakfast cereal, for example, account for only 5 percent of the total amount Nabisco or General Mills spend to make and sell them.”  Soda costs less to produce than any drink except tap water thanks to a 1970s invention that cut the expense of making high-fructose corn syrup. There used to be real sugar in Coke; when Coca-Cola and other bottlers switched to high-fructose corn syrup in 1984, they slashed sweetener costs by 20 percent. That’s why 7-Eleven can sell the 64-ounce Double Gulp – half a gallon of soda and nearly 600 calories – for only 37 cents more than the 16 ounce, 89 cent regular Gulp.”

 

Do school lunches make kids fat?

Children who participate in the National School Lunch Program are more likely to become obese than those who do

Neapolitan pizza with French fries and mozzarella and tomato cooked on oven pizzeria in Naples

not, according to research from Southern Methodist and Georgia State Universities. The research was funded by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the school lunch programs. It was published in The Journal of Human Resources in the Summer of 2010.

Approximately 30 million children eat lunch at school, and (a curious numerical coincidence) the number of children estimated to be overweight or obese is 30 percent.

The USDA is said to be very concerned about the issue, but apparently not concerned enough to stop allowing French fries to be counted as a vegetable.

Testing out the safety of food additives - and our children are the test subjects!

When research is conducted on food additives, it generally looks at only a single additive. The belief is that if you use a high dose of a single additive it will tell you if it can be tolerated in “normal” amounts by most people. But just picture a child in a school breakfast program pouring pink “strawberry” milk on a bowl of Froot Loops, and contemplate how many different petroleum-based additives he is ingesting! Then imagine what may be going on in his brain as he tries to make sense out of what is happening when he goes to the classroom!

One of the few studies that has looked at what happens when additives are combined found that while a single food additive (dye, MSG, aspartame) causes nerve damage, when two additives are combined the damage increases by as much as seven-fold!  (Lau, 2006)