Thursday, July 19, 2007

Found: Two Moms Angry About Food

I stumbled across this website to find two moms fighting for healthier school lunches. Susan Rubin and Amy Kalafa put together a documentary about the nation's school cafeterias, and are trying to help school districts to make changes in menus across the US.

While I am not sure I agree with what Angry Mom Susan Rubin said in a recent New York Times article, “This is a national security issue,” said Ms. Rubin, 47. “Without adequate nutrition, we will not have future leaders.” Generally, I think of National Security as airport security screening and maintaining foreign relations. I do think it is an important issue, but how about calling it a National Health issue? Childhood obesity leaves children ripe for Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure and other problems. This is something definitely worth fighting against, especially since in the last 30 years the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years.

These Angry Moms (and many other moms) will be happy to hear that yesterday 11 of the nation's biggest food and drink companies are adopting new rules for advertisements for children under the age of 12. These 11 companies combined make up 2/3 of the food ads targeted at children and the new rules include not using popular cartoons, which is a big marketing crutch at times.

With these large companies coming together to make an agreement on advertising and grassroots groups going to school boards and making their voices heard, I think we are going to see an improvement in this area over the next few years. An example of the Angry Mom's success in the Times article demonstrates their success well. In the Ketonah-Lewisboro school district in Westchester County, CT a member of the board of education said of working with Amy and Susan, "We went from refrying processed chicken nuggets to grilling fresh chicken breasts and making homemade apple crisp". Sounds like progress to me.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

If I remember correctly, the school lunch program funding was originally justified as a national security issue. The logic was that if our nation's children are not fed adequately, they won't grow up strong enough to help defend the nation.