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School Nutrition: When Capitalism Causes Obesity Essay

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A dollop of tomato paste - that is all that this is required for an other-wise high-sodium, high-fat, and high-grease food product to be labeled as a vegetable as voted by a lobbyist-controlled congress in November of 2011. Pizza, as it turns out, is now considered a vegetable by school nutrition standards (“A Veggie Pizza”). It is obvious, then, that such as decision was not perpetuated nor endorsed by activists campaigning for proper nutrition within in the school cafeteria. It was lobbyists, most likely independent or large business caterers, who gave the decision the political and monetary boost it needed. But by allowing congress to make decisions based on lobbyist endorsement, pressure, and financial supports such as this one, America is simultaneously over-feeding its children, depriving its children of key nutrients, and establishing an epidemic of obesity. The blame, however, lies not just within the schools, parents, congress, or society, but upon a conglomeration of these things. Surely, it would be folly to believe otherwise. One thing is clear: America’s nutritional standards for school children must change.

With this need for change in mind, citizens must no longer ignore the pressing empirical data of the detrimental state of America’s contemporary nutritional standards. Currently, most school cafeterias provide students nutritional needs by relying on processed foods (sugar, white flour, oil, artificial ingredients) and animal products whilst barely delivering any whole produce. In fact, most of the fruit-and-vegetable nutrition comes from byproducts such as juice concentrates or stocks. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends decreasing saturated fats, sugar and sodium, while increasing whole grains, ...


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...tion and to be consistent with what they are teaching to avoid hypocrisy. Students, when faced with nutrition education, will observe the hypocrisy, and conclude that nutrition is not important when everything they see around them contradicts the message their teachers are trying to send. School administrators cannot, and most likely will not, be willing to endorse this message if it is not cost-efficient. It is then up to society, congress, and the people of the U.S. to see nutrition and their children not as another business expense, but as the methods to create a standard of healthy children, regardless of the financial impact.





Works Cited

"School Meals Need to Get Healthier: Report." Healthday. 29 OCT 2009: n. page. Web. 14 Dec. 2011.

Shah, Nirvi. "School-Meals Makeover Stirs The Pot." Education Week 30.27 (2011): 1,. ERIC. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.


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