Nutritional Measures for School: Struggling with Childhood Obesity

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Nanci Hellmich, a writer for USA, Today knows that one “can’t pick up a newspaper or magazine without reading about childhood obesity” (Hellmich par. 3). Hellmich starts out with how a sixteen-year-old girl from high school “used to buy a Coke or a Twix candy bar from school vending machines” (Hellmich par. 1). High schools have started taking out all of the less healthy, more fattening foods and have replaced them with more nutritional snacks. Since the start of bringing in healthy foods and doing away with the unhealthier options, over 42 states have brought up nutritional measures for school.

Childhood obesity has become a widely spread issue through the states, in fact, “About 31% of children ages 6-19 are overweight or at risk of becoming so” (Hellmich par. 5). But, some people are against the movement, “Talbert hates the switch. ‘What they have to offer now, none of us want,’ he says” (Hellmich par. 6). Others, such as parents and teachers etc. support the movement of healthier snacks and foods into schools. Even industry groups such as the American Beverage Association has suggested fewer sodas in the schools.

A few schools are overloaded with junk food, which causes major weight issues, so Enid Hohn “revamped her district's vending machines five years ago to offer healthier fare” (Hellmich par. 12). Since the switch most unhealthy food have been replaced by items such as granola bars, dried fruit, beef jerky, nuts, cut-up fruit, shaker salads, vegetables with ranch dressing, tuna packs with crackers, water bottles, milk,and fruit juice. The problem with the food issue is that no kids are drawn into the decision of healthier foods, “Hohn says, ‘If I'm selling healthy stuff in the lunch line, and the kids can walk 10 feet and buy three fresh-baked cookies for a buck from the school store, that's where they will spend their money’ she says” (Hellmich par. 14). Schools are not trying hard enough to teach nutritional meal habits. Industries are arguing that the school food is not going to solve weight or health issues. “Schools could have a bigger effect on health by improving nutritional and physical education. Plus, he says, if the foods and drinks aren't sold in vending machines or a la carte lines, kids will bring them from home” (Hellmich par. 18). There are many arguments that could be mentioned, but these are some that Nanci Hellmich, a USA Today writer, has brought to our attention. Hellmich is a Freelance reporter, that has written for big news companies such as USA Today, CNBC, U. S. News & World Report that covers reports over business, finance and science.

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