You probably caught an episode or two of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last season in which he successfully changed the school lunch program in West Virginia. We watched him slowly and methodically change the heart and soul of a small town where obesity and health issues saddened even the most stoic.
This morning’s Los Angeles Times reports the show approached the Los Angeles Unified School District for this season and they were turned down. They basically said “thanks but it could be too time-consuming.”
Half of my clients are children and adolescents who are struggling with their weight and health issues. Statistics show this is the first generation of children who will live shorter lives than their parents.
When discussing how my young clients can change their eating, the most challenging meal is lunch at school. Finding a healthy option is practically impossible when the choices are chicken nuggets, French fries, hamburgers, pasta and pizza. A fruit or vegetable or even a salad is a rare find.
I analyzed a school lunch menu for a private school in Los Angeles a few years back. The average lunch contained 1500 calories coming predominantly from fat and starchy carbohydrates. I was flabbergasted and upon showing the analysis to the school they were as well…and their program was healthier than most.
Children will eat what you feed them. Even if they rebel initially over time they will eat what is given to them. How amazing an opportunity Los Angeles has been given to have Jamie Oliver overseeing and training employees how to make healthful delicious food.
Hopefully the district will reconsider and allow this program, despite the industry glamour, to help create a change. Our children and their health should be the priority – even if it is too “time-consuming.” Our children’s time may run short and then who is to blame?