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Letters to the Editor

An uphill fight

Pamela Byrd March 21st, 2012

I can only hope that the photograph taken of Wilson Elementary School kids at lunch (“A Heavy Duty, Rachel Curtis, March 14, Gazette) is archival, or the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition really has its work cut out for it.

It’s difficult to see everything on a child’s plate, but I think it’s safe to say that at least 90 percent is white. The french fries are more brown or gold, but they started out as white. It does not appear that Wilson Elementary has quite gotten the hang of what constitutes a healthy lunch for growing kids.

It’s a great article about a problem — childhood obesity — that is endemic to Oklahoma and a lot of Southern states, and the efforts to fight it. But it’s an uphill battle, I think, when legislators vote on bills that approve ketchup as a vegetable.

Pamela Byrd
Oklahoma City

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03.21.2012 at 10:08 Reply

Ketchup is also one of those food products that has High Fructose Corn Syrup added to it.  HFCS isn't necessarily bad, but the fact is that it's added to countless products that didn't use or require it 30 years ago.  It should not be surprising that there is an obesity epidemic.

That would be one factor to consider.  Other factors might be the amount of content that kids choose to absorb online, watching TV, or playing video games.  All those things have become much more prevailent in the past 30 years.  

Also the nuclear family has mostly disintegrated.  Gone are the days when family sit down, have a meal, conversation, and follow it up with some backyard games.  These days you have single parents tossing fast food on the table and darting out the door to head off to a second job.

Add all these things together and you get a death by a thousand needles.  So I doubt there is a single thing you can change that will solve this problem.  

I hate to be so pessimistic about this, but maybe we need a famine in this country to make us all respect the food we have.  Of course, we could always go back to farming it personally.  That involves both friut and labor, a double "win" in my book.