Monday, August 13, 2012

A rant about junk food

I was definitely heartened to read this story today. It is a great positive step to curbing the childhood obesity epidemic.

CHICAGO (AP) — Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.

Please click the link to read the whole story.

In fact while I was at my poetry workshop at Esalen in Big Sur, CA last month I wrote a rant about junk food – triggered by the word junk, one of a list of ten given in a daily prompt.  (See the Scary Seven at the bottom of this post, courtesy of Naturally Savvy.)

A picture prettier than the rant 
(the Big Sur coast)

Here’s the rant:

Junk food is a business.
Junk food is an addiction
Eating junk food is an epidemic

Can you imagine that recent studies
show that obesity in children
is not related to their
consumption of junk food
in the schools?

Can you imagine
they say children form
their eating habits at home,
so why worry about limiting
their junk food consumption
outside the home?

Can you imagine why?
Of course, you guessed it.
The schools get a profit –
probably a huge profit
from those ubiquitous vending machines
that spit forth,
with the drop of a few coins,
a constant supply of
high-sugar soft drinks, chocolate bars,  
chocolate chip cookies, and chips.
You name it, if it’s junk, it’s there.

The food hustlers entice school management
to allow them to put the machines on their sites
in exchange for bonuses.
The food hustlers are only
about selling and money.
The food hustlers could care less
about healthy children.

And then on top of all that
these poor children eat
burgers dripping with cheese
or pizza practically every night
for dinner at home.
So the problem is not only in the schools.
Their mothers are too busy
or too uninformed
to make them a proper meal.

Just go to any school at noon
and see those little chubby guys
stuffing their faces
instead of moving their butts
out in the playground.

How astonishing that parents and teachers
allow this behavior.
The children eat and binge
binge and eat.
until they become
a generation that will not survive
long enough to become viable adults.
They will be too sick with heart problems
and diabetes to work and have a family,

We need to act.
We need to take the plunge
and get that junk stuff out of the school
and off our pantry shelves
Neither our families nor our nation
can afford to do anything less.

No comments: