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From: Lorrie (
Subject: Re: request for input: childhood obesity and healthier foods in schools
Date: March 28, 2005 at 9:48 am PST

In Reply to: request for input: childhood obesity and healthier foods in schools posted by Julie Thompson on March 8, 2005 at 11:52 am:

I think it is great that you are exploring this area in public schools. Where we live, the hot lunches are the same. They are highly processed and barely resemble the food they are intended to be. I was shocked one day when I was volunteering in the school and had to move an empty box down in the cafeteria. It was a box for chicken tenders. It had an ingredient list a mile long and it was difficult to find the chicken for all the fillers and preservatives listed.

I send my son to school with lunch but it is very difficult for him to resist the hot lunches.

I was also appalled one day when I saw a little girl eat her "hot" lunch. She substituted cereal for her hot meal. So she proceeded to eat cocoa crispies with chocolate milk and a brownie. Gee, I wonder what kind of an afternoon she had!

In the local middle school, I was again shocked to see vending machines in the cafeteria for soda, candy and ice cream. At the middle school level, kids are given more choices (i.e. salad bar). But, then they have easy and in my opinion unacceptable access to junk food!

I find that the schools are trying teach healthy eating and provide such information. Unfortunately, it is contradicted by the kinds of food offered at hot lunches and the presence of vending machines.

I strongly feel that parent involvement in essential to helping children and in preventing childhood obesity. Parents need to be educated. Parents need to be interested. Everyone is busy but I don't find that an excuse for buying Lunchables or for turning a blind eye to the deplorable quality of the hot lunches provided to the children.

Wow! What a rant!!!

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