Report: Still Too Fat To FightFri 28 Sep 2012
Story by The Food Revolution Team
According to Mission: Readiness, a group of retired military leaders, childhood obesity isn’t just a health issue - but also a national security issue.
As the leading medical reason that young adults can not join the military being that they are overweight or obese (1 in 4 are too overweight to enlist) and the military spending over 1 billion on weight-related diseases each year, this new report by Mission: Readiness ‘Still Too Fat to Fight’ focused on the amount of junk food available in schools.
Still Too Fat To Fight
According to the report, which was released earlier this week, 400 billion calories of junk food (the equivalent of 2 billion candy bars) are being sold in American schools each year. On a scale this would weigh almost 90 thousand tons and put end-to-end they could circle the earth six times!
Based on these findings, the retired generals and admirals on Mission:Readiness are strongly supporting the USDA’s efforts to reduce the amount of junk food available at schools, through updating the rule for ‘competitive foods’ – items sold outside of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs from vending machines, school stores and a la carte lines. As sugary drinks, high salt and fat snacks, cakes, cookies and chips are regularly available through these means for many kids at school.
More than 200 retired generals and admirals have signed a letter to Congress in support of the process through which the USDA seeks to update these standards.
“All of this junk food in our schools is undermining efforts to reverse a childhood obesity epidemic that threatens the health, the economy, and even the national security of our country.” – Too Fat Too Fight
Schools Part of the Solution
Although the availability of junk food items in schools contradicts efforts to teach healthier habits and contributes to the obesity epidemic, schools are part of the solution.
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine emphasised that schools ought to be a national focal point for obesity prevention, ensuring strong nutritional standards for all foods and beverages sold or provided through schools.
However, we all have a role to play in helping schools achieve this focal point, from the Federal and state level to local authorities, parents and the wider community.
“Getting junk food out of our schools is a critical part of our efforts to make sure America’s child obesity crisis does not become a national security crisis.” – Too Fat Too Fight
We’ll wait to hear when the updated rule for ‘competitive foods’ may be released. But in the meantime, get in touch with your school to see what foods are available and find out how you can support them in making changes. Use our NEW and updated school food toolkits to get the facts, find support and start helping to get more fresh, wholesome and nutritious items in your local schools and connect with others doing the same on our Food Revolution Community page.
Get the full report by Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids here.
Read the original report by Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids ‘Too Fat to Fight’.
The Food Revolution Team
Image taken from NRP/istockphoto.com
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