Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Too fat to fight?

Apparently, the U.S. military is signing on with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
I heard just a snippet of a news story on NPR this morning about an effort spearheaed by some retired military men to push for legislation that would force better health standards for school cafeteria meals.

The military establishment, it seems, is concerned that 74 percent of 17-24 year olds are considered unfit for military service. 27 percent are medically ineligible and most of that is due to obesity.

I’m not sure that “whipping America’s kids into fighting shape” will sell, but I think we need to recruit every ally we can in the campaign to fight youth obesity.

That’s a pathetic statistic and a threatening one. No matter what your political/ideological position on health care reform, you have to recognize that a nation of fat 18 year olds is going to be a nation of major health care burdens as they get older.

And that’s to say nothing about the limitations on a fulfilling life that obesity brings.

Man, we really need to change our way of living.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. What a sad statistic! How can a country so obsessed with weight loss, appearance, and diets fail so miserably! Maybe because a vital half is missing, namely, exercise. You just can't have diet with out the exercise.

    Healthier school lunches is an improvement which should have been made long ago, but perhaps parents need to send their kids to school with healthy lunches. These early, healthy habits follow you into adulthood. Furthermore, parents need to be enrolling kids in sports and making outside play time manditory.

    Now that government is taking hold of health care, a bit of preventative/cost saving measure, such as whipping our children into shape, sounds like a forward-thinking debt reducer!

  2. Ti'na Gress,NHCApril 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    . . . with all the "Energy Drinks","Pop", poor food choices thats made available to our kids these days, the lack of propper exercise, sad to say its going to get worse if the present trends in life style continue.

    Education on healthy choices is only one area that needs to be addressed not only to our kids, but to the adults as well . . . Parents/gardians are the ones making most of the household purchases, bringing things into the home, when you look at the over-all cost of your average shopping list and then compare to a list containing healthier choices, you'll find on an average its more eccenomical to eat healthy. Exspecially when you look at the high cost of health care due to the outcome of poor food choices.

    The fight on fat, begins at home.

    Ti'na Gress,NHC

  3. The food cartel bears a great deal of responsibility here. When the food choices that are promoted and pushed in front of people are pre packaged High Salt, High Calorie High Fat, items -many times to the exclusion of much healthier choices- then it is no wonder that we are a nation of obese food-a-holics.

    there are neighborhoods where you cannot find fresh produce within walking distance, or if it is available it is at astronomical prices, not affordable to most people on a daily basis.

    The food cartel bombards our children with images if "fun food" -eg almost pure sugar and fat packaged as a healthy breakfast in the form breakfast cereal. It is no wonder they are obese when they think that eating what is essentially candy for breakfast is healthy.

    Imagine the difference if the food cartel started to advertise and push into local stores fresh produce, low fat items made at home (meat fish chicken rice potatoes vegetables)prepared with out massive added salt and preservatives, instead of soda pop, potato chips and candy breakfasts.

    The government can help here by making sure everyone is aware of what the Food Cartel is putting into the things they sell, making sure that we know how unhealthy it is.

    Also the government should make sure that the Food Cartel does not have undue influence in any given market. Like any other business, agra-business can become so large and monopolistic that the free market is subverted and and they become a danger to the common well fare. This happened at the turn of the century (1900) with the meat packing industry, and i wasn't until the public became aware of how they were being fed that that industry was reformed.

    We are at that point again. Powerful interests have taken things that are obviously not healthy,(candy breakfasts, soda pop and fatty salt snacks, salt and fat bombs disguised ans preared food) and convinced us this crap is good for us. Look around. It is not good for us. And we are paying the price.

    Cigarette anyone? Those were once thought to be good too.

  4. School food has been bad my whole life. I remember in HS I loved cheese zombies & coke. As everyone who watched the show saw last night crap food is CHEAP! Less the $4.00 for a WHOLE CASE of chicken nuggets? At one of Bends local food restaurant they sell the same nuggets for $23 a case.

    I actually deliver homemade lunch & dinners around Deschutes and it blows my mind that people will pay $3.50 for coffee but want a $1 menu for lunch.

    GO JAMIE!!!!!!! Sign me up for change!

  5. The irony is that the school cafeteria lunch program was originally initiated by the U.S. military, because they had observed how many school children were undernourished, and concerned how this adversely impacted the pool of physically fit soldiers. After WWII, "military leaders pushed Congress to establish the national school lunch program so children would grow up healthier. The program was established in 1946, "as a measure of national security," according to the original bill language."

    (Quotes from an article by Mary Clare Jalonick, A.P.)