Schools and the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

Everyone is obsessed with the fact that children in America are becoming overweight and obese. Michelle Obama even went to the extreme of pressuring fast food restaurants into changing the way they serve our children meals. Schools complain about parents allowing their children to eat junk food like cookies and cake, yet they feed our children junk more often than we do.

Three times a week there is pizza on the lunch menu at my children’s school. Other days are tacos, burritos, nachos, french fires and other things that are fried. These are not healthy food choices, so I pack my children’s lunch.

Recently, the principal of the school sent home letters about the weight gain that has affected the school. Since most of the children at the school receive free lunches, their parents cannot afford to pack a healthy lunch for their kids. They put their trust in the school that they are making healthy decisions.

I know what you are thinking, every school board is supposed to have a registered dietitian make their meal plans for them. You are very correct in that assumption too. Each school board does have a registered dietitian on staff.

When I contacted the dietitian, I was advised that the school system has a very limited budget and that they first and foremost must think about cost of the meals before the nutrition. He was very sorry that the decision to cut the school’s food budget happened, but he would make note of my complaint and forward it to the proper people. This is not what I wanted to hear.

The school district my children go to is funded by the government. They receive Title I funding for educational purposes. We also have parent involvement, which is meant to save the school money. Parents who have time go into the school and take care of tasks that cause the teachers to run into over time on their paychecks.

These parents take care of little things like laminating, coloring, creating worksheets and projects for the kids. All snacks and parties are funded by the parents that are involved by the PTA and not a single thing is purchased by the school. We do not use consumable books, only hard copy books that can be reused year after year. School supplies are purchased by the parents, and for those who cannot afford school supplies, the PTA provides them.

We do fundraisers, (the last fundraiser brought in $10,000) for the kids), and we use the money for different events for the kids. There are also several “gifted and talented” students in the school, one of them is my son. I know for a fact that due to his abilities, the school gets allotted an extra $6,000 for his educational needs. This includes him going into classes for the grade above his.

All of this funding and they cannot provide healthy lunches for the children? Is there something that I am missing? I do believe that there are misappropriated funds floating around somewhere, I just wish someone would find them.

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