Battling Childrens Addiction To Sugar And Bad Eating Habits In And Out Of School-plants war

Weight-Loss Just take a quick look around the playgrounds in and around schools these days and you will see fewer kids playing sports, and more either gaming or texting. In addition to the loss of activity, their bad eating habits in school as well as at home are increasing our childrens waistlines. With 20 percent of the nations children obese, the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed new standards for federally subsidized school meals that call for more balanced meals and, for the first time, a limit on calories. The current standard specifies only a minimum calorie count, which some schools meet by adding sweet foods. Earlier this year, when Michelle Obama, as part of her campaign against childhood obesity, announced that Wal-Mart would reduce salt and sugar in its packaged foods, she said, Were beginning to see the ripple effects on the choices folks are making about how they feed their kids. But this effort is up against an array of powerful forces, from economics to biology. One city, Philadelphia, where the obesity rate is among the nations highest, is at a tug of war over the cravings of its kids. Amelia Brown, a school principal of a Philadelphia kindergarten through eighth grade school, said that deplorable diets caused headaches and stomachaches that undermine academic achievement, and that older students showed a steady progression of flab. So inside the school, the nutrition bug is rampant. A gym teacher, Beverly Griffin, teaches healthy eating using a toy model of the federal food pyramid and rewritten childrens songs. And on his farm he had some carrots, Tatyana, a first grader, belted out one recent morning, skipping around the gym with her classmates. Schools throughout the nation have begun to expel soda and sweet snacks. Instead of high-calorie fruit juices, water is highly suggested. The Agriculture Department wants to change the content of federally subsidized school meals 33 million lunches and 9 million breakfasts a day by the fall of 2012. Beyond the calorie cap, the new standards would emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits and set tighter limits on sodium and fats. This will mean a huge shift in school meals, said Margo G. Wootan, the director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group. The food industry is defending products by focusing on their mineral and vitamin content. The National Potato Council, for example, is warning against cutting starch, saying children need potatoes potassium and fiber. Some .panies are adjusting their recipes, although hardly drastically. Some schools have stopped buying the sugary products of the bakery icon Tastykake, so the .pany created a 190-calorie muffin, reducing sugar enough to move it below flour on the list of ingredients. The new formulation, which uses whole grains, got Tastykake muffins back on the school breakfast menu and classified as bread. While research suggests that as little as an extra 200 calories a day can make an adult overweight, a recent study led by Gary D. Foster, the director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University, found that children were getting 360 calories a day from chips, candy and sugary drinks all for an average of $1.06. Scientists have demonstrated the power of sugar since at least 1974, when a Brooklyn College professor, Anthony Sclafani, found that lab rats were so drawn to Froot Loops that they would suppress their natural fear to eat in the exposed areas of their cages. Researchers using brain imagining technology have since found that foods high in sugar or fat activate the same reward system as cocaine and other drugs, and can also set off the release of the neural chemical dopamine, which can cause the brain to override the biological brakes that prevent overeating. The challenge of reducing calories for children be.es clear at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, an institute that does research for both government and industry, which is testing the sweet and salty preferences of children. Monell researchers demonstrated the so-called bliss point the level of sweetness that makes products most desirable by having children taste several puddings with differing levels of sweetness. The results were children chose a particular pudding that contained twice the sweetness adults typically like, or 24 percent sucrose. Childhood teaches us what to eat, how to eat, when to eat and what food should taste like, said Julie Mennella, the scientist conducting the research. Children dont have to learn to like sweet. But what they will be learning is what food should taste sweet. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: