By Amanda Wilkes
Childhood obesity is no secret. Everyone knows there is a problem, yet no one really has done anything about it. Since the 80’s, childhood obesity has doubled and has tripled for adolescents. There is a strong correlation between childhood obesity and adult obesity which, in turn, causes a tremendous number of health issues.
Why aren’t we giving these children the best possible chance to avoid obesity? Instead, we throw junk food at them left and right. Small measures have been taken to make changes, but changes need to be enforced strongly. Go into any public elementary, middle or high school and you will find junk, junk and more junk food. Just look at our standard San Diego school lunch menuhttp://www.sandi.net/Page/1030. Not only do they serve highly processed breakfasts and lunches, but vending machines lurk at every corner, tempting kids as they pass through the halls or go to another class. 95% of young people are enrolled in schools and most spend an average of six hours at their school each day. So why are we not taking advantage of this immense amount of time to enforce healthy habits? As parents and educators, it is our responsibility to exercise our voice for our young, unknowing children.
We need to be more like First Lady Michelle Obama, who has acknowledged this issue and is taking a hands-on approach http://www.letsmove.gov/ There are several programs throughout the country that are working hard to encourage healthy choices for school breakfast and lunch programs, but they need all the support they can get.
We want our students to succeed, so let’s give them every chance possible!