Can you believe they're using REAL MONEY to implement "Healthy Schools" in the Kansas City district? Let's just consider some of the stuff they're going to "accomplish," shall we? Perhaps I'll add a little emphasis and comments of my own along the way.
"The following elements will be measured and evaluated:
*Student knowledge, attitudes and behavior regarding energy balance to maintain a healthy weight (Pray tell, HOW are they going to "measure" someone's "attitude" in regard to "energy balance?" [calories in vs. expended])
*Impact of the program on fitness scores and BMI measures (Umm... they run your kid through a physical test, WEIGH him, calculate BMI and report this information back to "the program." Wow.)
*Improved food behavior in school lunch through the use of digital photography of lunch trays pre- and post-intervention (How would YOU feel if you were stuck at school all day and the lunch monitor took a picture of your lunch tray to see if your "food behavior" improved??)
*Increased physical activity on weekdays through the use of accelerometers pre- and post-intervention
*Researchers will also assess the value of the Healthy Schools Partnership among schools administrators, teachers and foodservice personnel, and changes in the school environment associated with the program." (How do you measure "school environment?" PLEASE tell me they don't have corny posters along the lines of, “If you eat that sundae, play more soccer." Oh, snap. They *do.*)
Siiigh. I don't doubt that there are plenty of fat, unhealthy people out there. But I can't say that I'd support this idea of making the health curriculum so personal. I had a hard enough time in high school when they talked of "good hygiene," washing your face and whatnot. I had such terrible acne that eventually only Accutane even got close to helping me look like a recognizeable human being. It was so humiliating and disfiguring... there aren't even words to describe what that does to your social life and self-esteem at that age...
I can't imagine being a really fat kid and having some nutritionist review my "food attitudes" and take my weight at school. Bad enough to get the sneers as a nearly 300 pound adult. Then to sit and talk about "don't be so fat" as part of the health curriculum for a full school hour while all the other students are stealing sideways glances at me... it would be too much to bear. At least the "don't squeeze your zits" part of our health curriculum in high school only lasted about a week. Imagine sitting through a three-year program.
I think instead of teaching health (quit being so fat, quit having zits, only sluts get STD's, don't smoke), maybe they should teach accepting people the way they are. When they FEEL BETTER about themselves, they can make those positive changes for themselves if the right drugs or regimen is out there. Though it took my changing dermatologists to get away from the professional squeezer. My mom found someone who actually prescribed drugs that worked. Thanks, Mom! :)
I know public schools, especially in areas like urban Kansas City, serve students who come to class with major problems. No dad, or drugs at home. Poverty. Gangs... stuff like that. Do we really need to be worried about these kids eating too many Twinkies? Teaching them to eat organic alfalfa sprouts isn't going to do them much good if Mom sees she can get four loaves of bread for the same price. That isn't a cut on these families... it's just reality.