by: Traci Brosman
(NaturalNews) More and more kids today are eating diets high in fat, calories and sugar and low in nutritious, low calorie fruits and vegetables. One to two meals are eaten at school plus a snack, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to make healthy food choices. With schools providing many foods that are processed and with the marketing materials that bombard kids, it is much easier to choose a high calorie, high fat option than something that is full of nutrition and low in calories. In the last thirty years, childhood obesity has tripled. Twenty percent of children between ages six and eleven are obese. These kids are not just a few pounds overweight. This means that their weight is more likely to cause lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol at very young ages.
It is not difficult to understand why our children are gaining weight when you look at the food options available to them. Schools are adding more processed foods to their menus while eliminating fresh foods. Processed foods are less expensive and have a longer shelf life. A typical breakfast at a high school in the United States is a sausage link with blueberry pancakes, sausage egg and cheese biscuits, cereal, yogurt, packaged donuts or packaged muffins. A typical lunch is pizza, chicken nuggets, chips, hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries, which are served daily. Vegetables that alternate depending on availability are mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli, salad, carrots and green beans. Fruit servings are minimal and consist of pears or peaches with whip cream on them. Ice cream, pop-sickles or rice crispy treats are served for desert. Many of these foods are high in calories, fats and sugar while containing little nutritious value.
To assist a student's learning process, the foods eaten should fuel the body, not cause it to be sluggish or foggy minded. These foods affect the student's cognitive, attention and memory skills. It is important that the foods they eat help them learn and not deter from it. Serving fresh food is more expensive and does take more time to prepare. However, if schools do not change what they are doing, it is going to cost society much more in medical costs to treat the diseases that are occurring because of obesity.