In 2010 the house passed new school-lunch nutrition requirements with the support of First Lady Michelle Obama. Now in 2014 the Republicans are trying to give major kickback to the healthy school lunches  program claiming it is costing schools too much money and any other reason to undue yet another change the Obamas have made.

The bottom line needs to be that the children need to eat healthy meals. If the kids don’t get healthy meals at school or at home their performance will be reflective of what is being put into their bodies. The obesity rates for children have more than doubled and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 yrs. Children aged 6-11 yrs in the US who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. Adolescents aged 12-19yrs who were obese increased from 5% 1980 to 21% in 2012.

In 2012 more than 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
Obese youth have risk factors for Cardiovascular disease high cholesterol or high blood pressure 70% of obese youth have at least one of these risk factors.

Obese children and adolescents have a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as poor self-esteem.
Most kids that struggle with childhood obesity become obese adults and are more at risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.

To prevent this from happening children need to be taught how to eat healthy and become more physically active. Eating a variety of foods from all the food groups helps children meet their needs for different nutrients. Nutrients commonly found in foods from one group may not be present in high amounts in another. That is why eating a variety of foods is important. Learning to eat different foods within each food group is not only healthy, but it can also be fun for you and your child. Children warm up slowly to new foods, and it can take 12 or more times of offering a new food before a young child learns to accept it. Be patient, offer new foods many times, and do not get upset if your child doesn’t take to a new food right away. Getting upset just makes you and your child more frustrated. If you are concerned about your child’s diet, talk to your pediatrician or family doctor.

Children and adolescents need to be active here are some ways they can be active outside of physical education class. Unfortunately, that class is slowly disappearing from school curriculum’s.

Dancing
Sports
Walking
Playing outside
Wii, Connect Xbox

If we can improve the school lunch and sometimes breakfast programs, we can help the children avoid health issues later in life. This would immensely decrease the cost of healthcare in the long run. Studies show that kids that have a healthy breakfast and lunch perform better in school. There is a way to make healthy foods taste good, there is also a way to hide vegetables in food so the kids don’t know that the food is healthy. The problem with some kids is that they do not try anything new. If you have not introduced your child to new foods they will not eat them at school. There are 90% of the schools across the nation supporting the changes in the school lunches, we need to help the 10% to get on board. The Republicans are trying to allow the 10%, waivers to opt out of the new program. We need to send a message that all children deserve healthy school meals regardless of class, race, or economic situation. Please don’t hesitate to Ask Dr. Renee and continue this conversation.

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