Childhood Obesity on the Rise despite Efforts of the First Lady

It is common knowledge that poor urban areas tend to have a higher rate of childhood obesity. Since her husband took the presidential office more than three years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama has campaigned vigorously to encourage physical activity and sensible eating among America’s youth.

While studies have showed that there are more fast food diners and convenience stores in poor neighborhoods, there were also more grocery stores, which made fruits and vegetables far more accessible. Recent studies have also showed that there is no noticeable correlation between obesity and number of fast food diners within a city.

This raises questions whether increasing access to healthy foods is really the answer as the First Lady has been advocating for. According to federal data, childhood obesity rates remain relatively the same in spite of efforts and programs to get Americans to exercise and eat healthier foods.

Michelle Obama’s crusade for a healthier and leaner nation has also included a call for schools to serve more nutritious meals. Her campaign has been praised by liberals while criticized by some conservatives, claiming that it is a move towards a nanny state.

Helen Lee, a member of the Public Policy Institute of California, conducted a study of 8,000 children in urban areas. The results indicated that poor neighborhoods did indeed have about twice as many fast food joints compared to more affluent neighborhoods. However, they also had just about as many super markets and grocery stores.

Childhood obesity is without a question a growing epidemic. However, the notion that children in poor neighborhoods are at a disadvantage due to a lack of access to healthy foods is just an excuse. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their kids get daily exercise and eat a proper diet. If given a choice between a hamburger and a plate of vegetables, children are obviously going to go for the burger because it tastes better. This is where parents need to be the role model and help them make the right decisions. Government intervention is not the answer.

Organic Lunches For Children

School lunches are not known to be the healthiest for our children. Most of the food served in schools comes from processed meat and is made in bulk. While is this a great way to keep the cost down for feeding hundreds of children, it’s not the best quality or nutrition. Since the awareness of child obesity is starting to increase, school lunches are starting to crack down on the amount of starches and fat content. Even though this is better for the child, it’s not exactly organic. So how do we keep our child’s lunches organic while giving them something they will actually eat? Here are some suggestions.

Lunch #1

Peanut butter sandwiches are a staple among lunches. If you have a picky eater for a kid, peanut butter sandwiches can be a saving grace. Make sure that you are using whole grain bread for the lunch and your kid will enjoy it with little hassle. Add a sliced apple to the lunch with a small box of raisins and gram crackers to complete the lunch. If you would like to give you kid some desert, add a Jello pudding cup to the lunch.

Lunch #2

Pack their lunch with whole-grain crackers. Make sure that the crackers do not have any trans fat in them. You can compliment their crackers with some low-fat cheese slices. Make sure that the cheese slices are made from organic dairy. Baby carrots and a cereal bar are also good for giving your child the necessary nutrients to keep them going throughout the day. Finish the lunch off with a natural water or a vitamin water.

Lunch #3

A whole-wheat wrap with peanut or soy butter and a few sliced bananas are a great main course for your child. Accompany the wrap with a small bowl of fruit such as grapes, apple slices or strawberries. You can also add Animal Crackers to the meal for desert. These are good little treats that will keep your child happy while keeping them nutritious.

Our children are the most important thing in our lives. While we want to keep them happy, we also want what’s best for them. Follow these simple lunch ideas and your child will eat all of their meal while staying healthy.