"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Sunday, August 20, 2006

School Lunch Test -- It's OUTRAGEOUS!

It's outrageous the food they try to serve in a public school. -- Paul Simon

Efforts to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity by changing ingredients and items on the school menu are explored in an article titled The School Lunch Test by Lisa Belkin in today's New York Times Magazine :

By any health measure, today’s children are in crisis. Seventeen percent of American children are overweight, and increasing numbers of children are developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type 2 diabetes, which, until a few years ago, was a condition seen almost only in adults. The obesity rate of adolescents has tripled since 1980 and shows no sign of slowing down. Today’s children have the dubious honor of belonging to the first cohort in history that may have a lower life expectancy than their parents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has predicted that 30 to 40 percent of today’s children will have diabetes in their lifetimes if current trends continue.
When it comes to teaching students about good nutrition, however, teachers say they are under so much pressure to have students pass the reading and math tests, there's little time for the nutritional curriculum:

Also in the spring, Hollar decided not to send new materials to many of the teachers who had received the original educational packets — things like curriculum suggestions, posters for the students to color. Too many were never used, she learned, and when she sent a questionnaire to the staff asking why, she was told that “they did not have time, did not want to take on additional teaching requirements, needed to focus on insuring that their kids passed the mandated state tests,” she says.
It's good to know we have our priorities straight.

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