Government overhaul of school lunch program will not affect the rising rate of obesity in children

Friday, February 10, 2012 by: Paula Rothstein
Tags: school lunch program, obesity, children

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(NaturalNews) The National School Lunch Program announced its decision to raise nutrition standards for school children across the United States. This is the first implemented change to the program in 15 years. Led by First Lady Michelle Obama, the claimed goal of her "Let's Move" campaign is to curb the rise in obesity in school-aged children. However, nothing contained in these changes would have any significant effect on obesity. In fact, some of the changes - such as the change from whole milk to skim milk and from butter to margarine - are arguably counter-productive.

When considered in total, the recommended changes are quite small for a problem that threatens the health of children and the complex trap of obesity. Unfortunately, the food industry has its fingerprints all over each of these new "nutrition" standards. For example, tomato paste on pizza is considered to be a vegetable while french fries remain a staple. Sure, there are more vegetables being introduced and that is all well and good, even a long-time coming, so kudos to Michelle Obama for her efforts.

It is clear, however, that the government still operates under the illusion that consuming fat makes you fat. Consider the recommendations dealing with dairy. The government's premise is this: Dairy is good for children; however, the fat content is a problem. This is simply not true. Yet removing fat from a child's diet is at the core of nearly every change in the new standards.

Whole milk is the healthier choice

Setting aside the generally accepted idea in the natural health community that milk is an excellent source of nutrition for a baby calf, if humans are going to consume it, whole milk is the optimal choice. The reason is simple: Our bodies are less able to digest the protein or absorb calcium and vitamins A and D from milk without the fat contained therein.

As for the panel's focus on saturated fats, science has now revealed these fats actually raise good cholesterol levels. And, seriously, are we actually going to transition children to margarine - which is one molecule away from being plastic - and call it a dietary improvement?

Obesity is an offshoot of a dietary culture in decay

We live in a culture that depends on "fast food" style dining, sugar-laden soft drinks and fruit juices (instead of pure water), chemically processed foods, and dairy and meat that are full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Most often these meals are being consumed in front of a television set. At issue is the "more is always better than less" mentality that permeates our modern lives.

Government is the problem not the solution

While one need only look at the USDA food pyramid to observe the government's state of confusion over nutrition, a more fundamental problem is that just because something should be done to address the increasing rates of obesity among school-aged children, it's the government who should address it. Rarely if ever a good idea.

One of the biggest problems with this sort of initiative is its propensity to make everyone feel as though something has been done, and government was at the helm. Both of these ideas are inherently false. And, finally, given the government's deep and troubling ties with the food industry, we should remember that when it comes to our children, putting the proverbial fox in charge of the hen house never bodes well for the future health of the chicken.

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About the author:
Paula Rothstein is a freelance writer and certified holistic health coach active in the area of natural health and health freedom advocacy. As a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she has gained insight into the political nature of food, the failings of a drug-dependent healthcare system, and the uniqueness of individual health. For more information, please visit: http://www.twincitieshealthcoaching.com.

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