Recently I watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC. I was shocked to watch primary school students unable to identify common vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes. If they can’t identify the vegetables, they haven’t seen them at home. If they don’t know what they are, they are unlikely to eat them. (Note: If you’re outside of the US, you can only watch the shorts, not the full program at the above link.)
I thought surely our students, who have access to healthy snack programs that provide fruits and vegetables in our school when funding is available and where the teachers encourage parents to send healthy snacks, would do better. And perhaps they do. However, our JK/K teacher who said that her JK students entering school were often unable to identify common fruits and vegetables.
I found some startled by this information, others not as much. I’ve watched weight loss programs go into an overweight individual’s fridge and not find much fresh food, but I didn’t think it was as widespread as it appears to be.
Another revealing documentary aired Sunday night on CBC’s The Passionate Eye, “Super Size Me” . Director Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonald’s meals for one month. He gained almost 25 pounds and significantly increased his cholesterol (up 65 points) and the fat in his liver. His body fat increased from 11 to 18 per cent. The negative health effects were so dramatic his doctor recommended that he discontinue the diet before the month was up. If you haven’t seen this documentary yet, you can view it here.
The implication for our already overburdened health care system should concern us all. It is alarming to see so the seeds of disease and illness being sown in such young children. Before I saw either of these programs, I had added books on healthy eating to the school library collection and promoted them. I resolve to do more!