Beginning next month, First Lady Michelle Obama will implement her agenda to make kids in the United States healthier. As obesity statistics continue to balloon to astronomical numbers, the President’s wife is taking measures to combat the epidemic.
Michelle has paid special attention to grade school kids and what can be done to prevent them from packing on the pounds.
During a speech at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Michelle said that she plans, “to put in place common-sense initiatives and solutions that empower families and communities to make healthy decisions for their kids.”
So what exactly are these common-sense initiatives? The First Lady plans on improving lunches provided in school across the country. It’s no surprise that frozen pizza and mystery meat tacos are disastrous for the intestines of our nation’s young ones.
Although several politicians in the past have mentioned providing nutritious lunches in schools, nothing has ever really changed. The cookies and cupcakes have remained a break-time staple. Is Michelle really going to make sure that greasy lunch-time fare will cease to exist on public school campuses?
I’m skeptical, and so is student Tyson Balmer, who attends Upper St. Clair High School in Pennsylvannia. He says past efforts to make school foods healthy have failed.
“As someone in high school, I can tell you that how they regulate healthy food does not make any sense,” said Balmer. ” They no longer allow students to sell baked goods or candy for club fundraising but allow these goods to be purchased from the school. We used to have legitimate fruit smoothies, and now we have sugar loaded slush crap. Any time we bring in food for class, it has to be healthy, but they serve KFC-style popcorn chicken bowls twice a week.”
Better food costs more money, and when the country is hit with any type of economic crisis, the public school system is the first to lose federal and state funding. Right now public schools are so pathetic when it comes to academics that any extra money will be spent on new books, not better lunches.
The strongest element of Michelle’s agenda focuses on better physical education in schools. P.E will not only improve the health habits of students, but it will also prevent deadly health conditions in the long run.
Recent studies indicate that sitting for a prolonged period of time can lead to a shorter life, and having students sit in classrooms for eight hours can pose serious health risks. In an editorial published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Elin Ekblom-Bak of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences suggested that authorities rethink how they define physical activity to highlight the dangers of sitting.
“After four hours of sitting, the body starts to send harmful signals,” Ekblom-Bak said. She explained that genes regulating the amount of glucose and fat in the body start to shut down.”
So will Michelle’s plan work? Will she be the person who spearheads a health revolution among America’s youth? It’s a possibility. But it’s also important to remember that health education is also a responsibility for parents. Parents need to take the time to evaluate their own pantries and how much time they spend playing sports or being active with their kids.
“This isn’t the kind of problem that can be solved in one year, or even one administration,” said Michelle. But make no mistake about it, this problem can be solved. We don’t need to wait for some new invention of discovery to make this happen. This doesn’t require fancy tools or technologies. We have everything we need right now– we have the information, we have the ideas, and we have the desire to start solving America’s childhood obesity problem. The only question is whether we have the will.”