Children's Health

John Mac Ghilonn writes:

“In the United States, child obesity has gone from being a big problem to an epidemic of gigantic proportions. This problem shows no signs of shrinking.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued new clinical guidelines addressing the childhood obesity crisis. In addition to various weight-loss medications, medical doctors are also encouraged to offer the option of surgery to obese children. But the guidelines fail to discuss the root causes of childhood obesity.

The U.S. is home to 330 million people, including roughly 75 million children. Alarmingly, 15 million of these children are obese. Obese children are very likely to become obese adults. As Dr. Jeremy Daigle, a pediatrician and acting director of the Healthy Active Living Program at Advocate Medical, recently commented, the physical shape of a child at the age of six “can actually be a determining factor for what their future looks like.” Today, he adds, it has become common for young children to be diagnosed with adult diseases.

The start of the childhood obesity problem can be traced back to the eighties. Around the very same time kids started getting considerably fatter, the quality of school lunches began to deteriorate.

It’s common knowledge that the country’s school lunches leave a lot to be desired, especially when one takes a look at school lunches on offer in other highly-developed countries. But it’s important to realize just how bad American school lunches really are.

Last year, Moms Across America (MAA) tested school lunch samples for heavy metals, glyphosate, pesticides, and veterinary hormones. According to the MAA report, “95.3% of the school lunch items contained carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, and liver disease-causing glyphosate.” The ingestion of glyphosate, a herbicide and crop desiccant, is directly associated with metabolic disorders. Close to three-quarters of the samples contained “at least one of 29 harmful pesticides.” Four veterinary drugs and hormones were found in nine school lunch samples “at levels up to 130.76 ng/g.” Every single school lunch sampled contained heavy metals “at levels up to 6,293 X higher than the EPA’s maximum levels allowed in drinking water.”

Learn more: The Disgusting Truth About Lunch