There is a lot of talk in the media about the new federal regulations for school food. Many think that the government has overstepped its control and should not involve itself in such matters. Others think that such a drastic change would be too expensive to implement, citing millions of dollars just for the change in serving size. I, too, would like to voice my opinion. To be clear, I speak for the affirmative. Why? There are at least three sound reasons why the government should continue with the new regulations of school foods.
The first good reason for supporting the new federal regulation of school food is to assure a strong nation capable of defending itself from hostile neighbors and of enriching itself with new discoveries and inventions unmatched by any. To guarantee a strong nation with these traits, we must be sure to guard our health. Just think! A weak, unhealthy group of people cannot contend in wars, cannot muster the strength to seek new discoveries, and cannot build its infrastructure. It’s simple. If we are to remain a great world power, we must be a healthy nation. What better way to do it than to control a factor – our food source and distribution — that can have a far-reaching negative impact on our health? And, what better way to do it than to start with our children? They are our future. Their health ten, twenty, or thirty years from now may very well determine our survival.
Another valid reason why we should embrace the new regulations of school food is that they help to reduce health care cost. Today, obesity, diabetes, and heart problems are our worse enemies. They contribute greatly to the high cost of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, the monsters that many politicians say are weighing down the national budget. Guest what? Obesity, diabetes, and heart problems are many times caused or aggravated by poor diets, the kinds that are rich in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Guest what again? These are the very foods that are provided for our children – in the cafeteria and vending machines — in excessive quantities daily. It baffles me how we can cry reduce the budget on one hand and support a major cause of its inflation on the other. If we truly want to reduce the budget which is inflated by social security, Medicare and Medicaid, then we should get serious about tackling one of the real causes – poor diets that are making our nation sick and dependant on these social programs.
To help promote learning and to increase test scores are the best reasons why we should demand that the new federal regulations be implemented in all schools. Research shows that students who eat healthy diets concentrate better and therefore perform better on tests. Perhaps, that is why your child’s teacher sends a note home instructing you to be sure to feed him/her a healthy breakfast because state testing starts the next day? If a healthy breakfast will help to insure a good performance on a test, just think what a well balanced diet served every day will do.
Over the years we have tried thousand s of methods to enhance learning. Why not give healthy foods a chance?
In a nutshell, if we are serious about remaining a strong nation, about reducing the budget, and about putting our children first, then we must seek and embrace new measures to eradicate problems that prevent us from achieving these goals. I have always been told that to cure an ill, we must find and eradicate the cause of it. Since we know that a poor diet – a seemly simple cause — is actually a major factor in contributing to our nation’s greatest problems, let’s join forces and give a loud voice for new regulations of school food.