29 July 2010

Please Quit Being So Fat.

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.

10 comments:

  1. Mrs. C. I am using all my willpower to not cuss right now. I mean SERIOUSLY? What a violation of privacy, what a humiliation, what nonsense.

    Here's my question for the KC schools - what have they done to PROVIDE healthier food? Are they one of those districts that partner with Coke and Pepsi for a share of the profits? Are they one of those districts whose school lunch budget is $1 a student, which can only buy deep-fried, sawdust chicken nuggets? I've seen the Jamie Oliver specials - have they? How about worrying about what THEY put in students mouths, instead of coming down all judgey-pants on kids' homelife?

    I got the agita now. They can at least hire some new therapists to help the kids deal with the depression this will no doubt inflict on them.

    Ok, I'm done now. My ice cream is melting.

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  2. You're not mad enough yet! Did you read the part where they want to make goals like these part of the NATIONAL CURRICULUM???

    All that stuff about the core standards being indoctrination-free is hooey.

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  3. PS I was reading somewhere that Coca-Cola helped with shaping the program... lol... off to see if I can find a link.

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  4. http://www.healthyweightcommit.org/supporters/members/

    Sponsors include Coke, Pepsi and a bunch of others.

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  5. "Federal mandate and support for an energy balance curriculum in schools that establishes
    Standards for Health and Fitness equal to that of current Standards for Learning."

    Got that from the PDF I linked near the soccer and ice cream analogy.

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  6. Why not spend some of this money on providing low cost healthy foods to low income families? Does anyone ever talk about the fact that crap food costs less than healthy food? Same here. All of this legislation, all of this guilt being infliced on people--but no real help.

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  7. Until they're willing to provide these kids with lunches and breakfasts that are NOT made up of almost entirely starches and sugars, they're going to make no headway in this. Until they give these kids' back their lengthy recesses, this isn't going to help. Until they stop measuring every child's physical fitness by a "standard", they are not going to solve this problem. Until they take the sugary energy drinks, sodas, and junk food machines out of the schools, this problem is going to continue. Until they stop giving these kids so much homework that they have no time to play outside when they get home, this problem is going to continue. Etc, etc, etc.

    Do you remember those lousy physical fitness tests we had to take when we were kids? How everyone cheered the kids who did well and were allowed to jeer at the ones who didn't so you felt really, really bad and learned to hate PE, sports, etc? I remember them all too vividly. Peer pressure is great, isn't it?

    I was comfortable on horse back--could ride for miles and miles every weekend with nary a sore muscle. I was an excellent swimmer and I loved to hike and did so at every opportunity. My daily chores consisted of hauling huge piles of wood and stacking them, feeding horses (hauling bales of hay), etc. And, yet, because I could not do a lousy pull up thanks to pinched nerves in my neck (horse back riding accident--the results of which didn't come to light until years later) and couldn't do sit ups because of a curved lower spine I was judged to be in poor physical condition and was ridiculed thusly. They sent the results home to our parents--my father did not understand and called me lazy. Thanks dad.

    This amounts to that all over again, only worse. It is invasive and it is useless unless all the adults around these children choose to make changes in themselves.

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  8. What makes me furious is the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables both here in Australia and, I imagine there in the US, that are being ploughed under - along with the fruit trees because the big chain supermarkets knock back any produce that 'doesn't conform' to the accepted colour, shape, blemish free ideal when there are thousands of families who cannot afford this better quality food due to the higher price.
    It is Just.Wrong!

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  9. Oh my gosh, Mrs. C - the sponsors of the Healthy Eating Coalition (or whatever it's called) include: Kraft, Sara Lee, Coke, Pepsi, Nestle, and Hersheys!

    Are all those companies volunteering to remove soda, candy bars and macaroni & cheese from the schools and put in vegetables? Or is it only OUTSIDE school hours when those things are judgable?

    Oy, the irony. It would be funny if it wasn't so awful.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)