Industrial food lies at the heart of childhood obesity problem

The thing I really enjoy about writing my column in The Eagle this year is that I am finding so many areas I can tie into health. There is just so much to talk about when it comes to health beyond the obvious diet and fitness. There’s body image as I discussed last time, there’s positive psychology, there’s the financial side of keeping healthy, there the health of your skin and other preventative care—I’ve covered a lot of areas so far this semester. It has sort of made me consider that maybe editorial is in my future. But, who knows.

Image: aka*kirara

Anyhow, this most recent column deals with the politics behind our industrial food system on the level of school lunches. Many people aren’t aware, but the standards the USDA has set for the food that goes toward the National School Lunch Program are worse than those that even Burger King has in place in terms of quality and safety. I think it is appalling how we are so surprised about the obesity epidemic when it is clear that all we have been feeding children, specifically those from the lower class segments of this country, is garbage. We’ve been feeding our children garbage, and now they are quite literally dying, many from early-onset diabetes, a condition they will have to medicate for the rest of their shortened lives at the contentment of the pharmaceutical companies, and at the expense of our already crippled health care system. It is just a mess.

But I think there are some solutions, and I touch on a few of those at the end. This column is really what this blog is all about and I am excited to be able to share it in the paper. Hopefully it will help get a few more people interested in finding out more about the problem.

I don’t know about anyone else, but this spring break could not have come at a better time. Speaking of health, I have been neglecting mine recently—I haven’t been to yoga in a week and I’ve been sleeping an average of 3 hours a night 😦 . I’m not going anywhere special, or even home to Florida for this break. Just hanging here in D.C., doing the usual routine minus just my classes on Wednesday. Hopefully the weather will begin warming up and I can take a run outside a few times or something. And I also hope to do more reading for this independent study and really buckle down with it. Hope everyone has a lovely spring break, if it’s that time for you. 🙂

2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m loving what you’re doing with this blog! It’s really important stuff. You briefly mentioned social class, which I think is an important piece of the discussion. Somehow our society has turned eating wholesome, nutrient-rich food into a privilege, rather than seeing it as a basic human right. While I can’t say for sure, I’m guessing there are some major differences between the cafeterias of well-off schools and those that are not as well-funded.


  2. thanks for sharing this!! very important issues. spring break already? i have to wait another few weeks!


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