Sunday, January 29, 2012


Anyone in the physical education/health related field should know about what the president’s wife, Michelle Obama, is trying to do for American’s youth. She wants to see healthier, fitter, more active children who are given the right options to make healthier choices. In February of 2010 at the launch of the Let’s Move Campaign, Michelle Obama made the statement "The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake."   This should ring true to anyone who has seen the current state of our nation’s health and obesity rates. We are fatter and lazier than ever, and there are many factors that are included, but one of the biggest is our diets. We eat much worse food, and with that we are eating it in even greater quantities.

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One place that Mrs. Obama felt we could improve our children’s health was at school.  And most everyone will agree with her, including myself, because I know firsthand that my school lunches were far from healthy. For example, we were told to choose a vegetable with our lunch, and we were offered carrots, peas, etc., however also included in these vegetable options were French fries. Since French fries are made from potatoes, they were considered an acceptable option for our daily vegetables. Now being that I as a normal kid, I ALWAYS choose the fries over whatever the other vegetables were every day. Does this sound like an acceptable option for a kid? Well, it shouldn’t. Now I am in no way stating that kids can’t have French fries, but eating them every day in conjunction with greasy pizza and corn dogs, breaded chicken patties, and burgers is not a healthy lunch. These options I just listed were what I ate every single day of school from the 6th grade and on. We always had choices, but the thing was I never once chose the healthier options. The problem is that kids are given menus filled with unhealthy choices that they have become victims of opportunity.

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She has been pushing forward to force schools to provide healthier options and weed out those other calorie killer meals filled with breading and fried parts. Thankfully this message of healthier meals is not just a fad, but is starting to spread outwards to restaurants in our communities. More and more we are seeing establishments offer more options and healthier versions of their dishes.  Big names like Chili’s, IHOP, and Friendly’s are just a few big names whom have changed up their menus offering healthier options and noting it in the menus. One big hitter that you might not tie in as having healthy options is the Olive Garden. Well after a reported 5 quarter slump their parent company Darden is looking to jump on the healthy option bandwagon. Good news for consumers, because like children we are often victims of opportunity, so if a major chain like Olive Garden is going to revamp their entire menu, we can only speculate and hope that the healthier choices are more abundant than not.

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