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Thread: Children's health/food/exercise

  1. #21
    FORT Fogey
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    So here's a teenager's view on this issue- At my school, almost every single lunch option is unhealthy, with the exception of a few types of salads. We have 4 soda machines and 1 candy machine. You'd think we'd all be obese, right? No. Teenagers are so concerned about how they look, and especially with swimsuit season coming up, we're all watching what we eat. But sometimes, when you've just failed a test, or your boyfriend broke up with you, you need that bar of chocolate or that can of Coke. Teenagers, most of us at least, are smart enough to know we can't go eating a candy bar and a thing of fried chicken every day. I do think that we should be allowed these options of candy and soda because sometimes you just need it. However, I don't think middle schools should have the machines. I know that when I was in middle school, I was not able to resist the calling of the salt and vinegar potato chips, and in elementary school, even less. But since I have been very active all of my life, it didn't really matter. I think they should start serving more nutritious meals, but,seriously, what 4th grader is going to choose a bag of carrot sticks instead of a bag of M+Ms?

    Regarding replacing soda with water/juice-nice idea, but I'm sure the school would lose a lot of its money it gains from selling soda. Schools need the money and many kids would rather go without a liquid than have juice. It's just not the same.

    We also do the standardized fitness tests every year. Some of the things are completely useless, such as pull ups. I am very much in shape and I've been lifting weights for quite a while, but I just can't do pull ups and I don't understand how they expect little kids to do that. Senior football players have trouble doing more than 10.

    Also, I believe it is also partly the parent's fault if their kid is fat. You have to make your kid exercise! P.E. is not emphasized enough in our schools, so parents need to get their kid out there. Make them walk to their friend's house or to the grocery store. A lot of parents just let their kid play Nintendo all day long.

    And Daddio, the whole Little League not keeping score thing is absolutely ridiculous. When I was playing little soccer, all I cared about was winning, but when nobody kept score and when I wasn't rewarded for my hard work, I just didn't want to play anymore. Whats the point? I'm a very competitive person, so it wasn't fun just to play with people who didn't even care about soccer. Anyway, SORRY for the really really long post!

  2. #22
    Back to the kitty lalol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Hong Kong
    In my school they only have vending machines selling sodas in the senior common room, so the little kids won't get to use it hehehe
    Because some kids just drink 3 cans of cokes everyday it's insane

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkieparrot
    Anyway, SORRY for the really really long post!
    that was a wonderful post pinkieparrot, never apologize for speaking your mind so well.

  4. #24
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    On a Rocky Mountain High
    I don't think they should have pop and vending machines in schools because it undermines the parents who ARE trying to do something about their children's obesity at home. If someone has an obese child, it's not going to do them any good to switch to healthy snacks at home if they can buy ho-ho's for the 8 hours they are in school. My daughter won't be allowed to have *any* soft drinks for several more years (she's two), and then in limited quantities. I'd be furious if she could buy however much she wanted as long as she could dig up the pocket change to buy it. Save the vending machines for high school.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  5. #25
    everyone's a critic... holly71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The Lone Star State

    I was going through some threads that fell off of the first page & came across this one. We had soda machines in Jr. High & High School (but not candy machines). One of my friends is a teacher in the same school district that we grew up in & she said they no longer have the coke machines, that they have been banned. I don't know if they've been replaced with an alternative, but I don't see why they can't just stock them with bottled water, juice or Gatorade. I know for me personally, I do not buy junk food, b/c if it's in the house, I WILL eat it!

    As far as physical activity, I remember when I was a kid riding my bike & walking if I needed to go somewhere (not too far, of course! Just to school, friends, or to the convenience store). Now, though, it's dangerous to do that. It's going to take parents playing an active role themselves if they want their kids to be physically active. Take them to the park, or enroll them in a dance class, or sport, but don't just let them sit in front of the TV/computer/video games! I never have seen as many fat kids as I have over the past 4 or 5 years. And not only that, I've noticed that quite a few of the kids (both thin & fat) aren't very social, & I think part of that comes from not interacting with people. "Play" for kids also teaches them a lot of valuable life lessons, like how to be social, share, take turns, etc. Video games can't do that. At most, they can teach kids hand/eye coordination.

  6. #26
    Premium Member speedbump's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Charm City
    We had no soda or candy/ snack vending machines. We did, however, have a Minute Maid fruit juice machine. High schools should not be a catalyst for bad behaviors.

    Last year I observed my brother who is a high school teacher and ate lunch with him. I could not get over the junk those cafeteria workers tried to pass as healthy food. They had a nacho bar, all you can eat pizza, burgers and dogs, soda, etc, etc. You had to send out search dogs just to find the fruit and milk. My brother told me that the reason the food is so greasey and unhealthy is because that is what brings the students in to buy the school lunch. If they hadn't done that, then the kids would've packed their lunch and therefore there would be no profit.

    I'm also agasp at the cancelling of gym class. That was the best period of the day. A little excercise never hurt anyone.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  7. #27
    Reformed Perfectionist G.G.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Lake Wildwood, CA
    The sad thing is, juices aren't necessarily lower in calories, though the vitamin/mineral benefit is there in many cases.

    As a comparison, 8 oz. of Coca Cola Classic or Pepsi has 100 calories, and Mountain Dew, 124 calories, per their Corporate websites. (Edited to add Gatorade, which has 50 calories per 8 oz. serving.)

    The juice comparisons are for 8 oz. pure juice and not juice drink or cocktail.

    Martinelli's Apple Juice - 140 cal. (www.martinellis.com)
    Welch's Grape Juice - 174 cal. (www.welchs.com)
    Minute Maid Pure Orange Juice - 100 cal. (www.minutemaid.com)

    There are numerous articles on the Internet touting the danger of subsituting juice as a healthy soft drink alternative. Do I think kids need to be taught healthier eating habits? Sure. I think bigger dangers are supersizing almost any fast-food meal available to man, increased use of prepared/convenience foods that have a higher fat content and lower nutritional value, and less monitoring by parents overall of their child's intake and level of activity.

    I'm not a parent and I'm not meaning to insult anyone who is, but I have lots of friends who do have kids and I've been a teacher. Kids don't go out and play like they used to. Video games and the computer have become the norm. We used to have to ride our bikes EVERYWHERE we wanted to go. If it was too far for a bike ride, it was too far for us to go. We didn't get rides everywhere - we walked to school, we walked to the mall, we walked to friends' houses, we walked to the swimming pool in the summer. I guess society has changed so much that this isn't safe anymore??

    In any case, substituting juice for soda isn't necessarily the answer.
    Last edited by G.G.; 05-06-2004 at 06:10 PM.

  8. #28
    Do the Kirby! Healblade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Texas, USA
    Ah, one of the things my school system handles well, in my opinion!

    In the elementary schools, vending machines go ONLY in the teacher's lounge. Elementary students don't need access to them. If they are diabetic and it's an emergency, a teacher can get them a soft drink quite easily.

    In the middle schools, students have access to vending machines that only have bottled water, Powerade, fruitopia, and the like. These drinks generally have fewer calories than either coke or juices, as pointed out above by GrammarGoddess. The vending machines are extremely popular due to the variety of drinks you can get, and they provide some revenue to the school. Like the elementary schools, the teachers have access to vending machines not accessible to students.

    In the high schools, all bets are off. There were more than 40 drink machines carrying Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi Twist, Aquafina... most anything Pepsi felt it would make money off of. By this point, the students are capable of controlling their eating habits. If they want to eat and don't care about their health, they can go to McDonald's and eat 69 cent hamburgers all day long while drinking 50 cent Wal-Mart brand 2-liter colas.

    Physical Education? It's part of the curriculum for elementary schools, required for a minimum of 24 of ther 36 weeks of the year for middle school students, and required for one semester in high school. Then again, it is a very agricultural area, so physical fitness to at least some degree is considered important.

    Rule of thumb: Schools listen to whoever yells the longest. If you start yelling for changes/reform at the people who can change things now, keep yelling until they drive home, get to school before they do, and start yelling the second they get in the parking lot, rinse, and repeat then they will change their priorities if for no other reason than to appease you. Note: getting other pro-active people to help you yell can save your vocal chords from much excess strain.

    ~Healblade (doesn't need assertiveness training)
    Last edited by Healblade; 05-06-2004 at 06:11 PM.

  9. #29
    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    in a good place
    What gets me are the schools where Taco Bell and Burger King have infiltrated and are providing the lunches. I know our schools desperately need money, but endangering the next generation's health is too high a price to pay. They are finding "adult onset" diabetes in teenagers, when it used to happen to people in their 40's and 50's!
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  10. #30
    Peeking In Duxxy's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    looking for a deal on evilBay
    hmmmmm.. well I guess I'm kind of glad that the schools in our town don't provide hot lunches. We had a choice of sandwiches and salads and they may have had a soup of the day.... and of course doughnuts, honeybuns, fake cheese and crackers and the like. Still not good but not as bad as it could be.
    "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

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