Here’s my response to a very important topic that was covered in the Huffington Post yesterday: food regulations in schools. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/09/school-lunches-to-be-allo_n_2267731.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003)
There are two things that are really hard to do when it comes to eating. One is to regulate how people are going to eat. The second is to come up with one eating guideline that fits everyone’s body chemistry. It appears the Agriculture Department is finding that out the hard way. Really. Is it smart to take skinny kids that could eat everything but the kitchen sink without gaining a pound and force guidelines that are designed to eliminate obesity on them? I am a huge advocate in the fight to get our youths to eat healthier and there are some really positive aspects of the public sectors approach to improving youths eating habits. Just eliminating deep fryers in the school kitchens is one of my favorite ideas. But this one size fits all regulation is not realistic. There are other aspects of this regulation worth contemplating. For instance, does regulating only the high end of energy consumption send a reinforcing signal to youths that suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia? Is the rebellious nature of teens ever considered? I have firsthand experience with kids that pretty much supported the opposite of anything that came out of my mouth. Maybe the parents at the Agricultural Department don’t have any kids like that (lol). I am certainly glad that the regulations are being reconsidered. We have an incredible amount of creative and talented youth in our country. They are smart and they are very capable of influencing each other (as kids always have). Let’s get these kids on the healthy eating bandwagon and let them drive behavior. I, for one, believe this is a much more constructive and capable approach.