As National School Lunch Week draws to a close, our friends at USC’s Masters in Teaching program would like to offer up the following infographic for discussion:
I think I’ve shared my grievances with the “childhood obesity” talk before, but I’ll say it again. It isn’t only the “fat kids” that need to learn how to eat well. ALL children need to learn. Why? How many of us were skinny children who became overweight adults with no clue how to revert back?
I also think it’s unnecessarily damning to highlight certain kids as being “a problem” or “the problem.” Teach the kids to strive to eat right and be active, and the lessons will carry with them all throughout their lives. Don’t worry about the non-obese children losing weight. Kids who don’t eat processed foods know how to compensate – their bodies demand more energy (be it fat or food) as their activity levels increase, and require less as their activity levels decrease (the same can be said for adults.) All children can eat proper meals – with portion sizes appropriate for their activity levels – and develop adequate weights, be it to gain a few or lose a few.
I just… every time I hear or read about “OMG CHILDHOOD OBESITY” I picture some parent heaping food on the plate of their thinner child, and plopping a rice cake down onto the plate for the larger child. It’s a cringeworthy picture. Trust me.
And before y’all hit me with the “tough love” comments, think about what you’d want someone to say to you or how you’d want someone to treat you in regards to your weight. Think about how much tough love you’ve received thus far, and whether or not that “tough love” has successfully made you lose weight and keep it off… and then think about whether or not treating you like a human being with a brain, thoughts and feelings could work, as well.
“Only 2 states in the union require schools to make fruits and vegetables available whenever food is offered.”
I just… I can’t. And we wonder why “CHILDHOOD OBESITY IS SUCH A BIG DEAL!” Not only are you not teaching the kids, but you’re reinforcing the NON-TEACHING with lack of resources, as evidenced by…
“Only 3 out of 10 high schoolers report eating a vegetable every day.”
“Less than 25% of students take a gym class.”
Your gym teachers (and art teachers, and music teachers…), that is, if your school can still afford them, are too busy teaching your students in preparation for the next standardized test, but I digress…