Educational Editorial: Nutrition at school & home

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution must offer hot topics if it goes up against NCIS and Mark Harmon on Tuesday nights.

This week's focus was Los Angeles where Oliver was prohibited from visiting the schools to launch his next attack in the revolt against what young people are eating.

Virginia has recently done its own battle over a related issue…exercise for elementary students. While the Governor clearly had reason to veto a bill that had an honorable theme, fighting childhood obesity, but questionable application, how does it work and who pays for it, the issue is pervasive and will not go away.

It seems, as with so many issues, the battleground of choice is schools. The Washington Post reported this week that last year some Fairfax and DC schools banned chocolate milk. With pressure from parents and industry groups, they have now reintroduced it in some cafeterias. The article continues to note that some experts believe that the changes in sweeteners really don't matter as long as the calorie intake remains the same.

Fairfax alone serves 62,000 gallons of chocolate milk a year. Of equal concern is that the newly formulated drink has  "more calories, ounce for ounce, than Coke."

While nutritionists seem to be split on many of these issues, it is clear that the schools must continue to use their educational platforms to shape the eating habits of young people.

It is also clear, having commissioned "surveys" of bag lunches, that eating habits and addictions start in the most influential institution in our community…the family.

Self included, it is a true paradox that we spend millions to fight hunger around the world while ignoring the cost of poor health in our own neighborhood…and home.

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