If you think education is expensive . . .
. . . wait till you see your schoolchildren’s medical bills as adults.
Our families incur twice the healthcare costs of families in other developed nations. Wouldn’t it be nice to reduce that financial drain?
You probably can’t reduce the cost of the paperwork factory that is the American healthcare system, nor prevent our doctors over-testing, over-treating, or over-prescribing, which our health system encourages.
But we can still save our children a small fortune in their adult years. Here’s the secret. Get our kids off the slippery slope towards chronic ailments that is school food.
Many of the diseases that are plaguing the United States right now and causing so many older people to be on chronic medication began in their childhood.
1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will become diabetic.
Rates are soaring for drug side effects, learning disorders, asthma, allergies, clogged arteries, anorexia, bulimia, OCD, depression, bone weakness, anxiety.
And that’s on top of what the CDC calls an epidemic: childhood obesity.
It may not be enough to teach our kids to read a food label or to send them off with a healthy packed lunch. If there is a lot of junk available in the cafeteria, they could be loading up on junk, like their friends.
That’s why many families have started working at the root of the problem, by persuading schools to change their food. We’ve got more leverage than we think. In the Child Nutrition Act of 2004, Congress required that virtually all school districts develop and implement wellness policies for nutrition and physical activity. (Juices must contain over 50% fruit or vegetable, sports drinks can’t exceed 100 calories, no more than 35% added sugar or 10% unsaturated fat in snacks, rules like that.)
Your community’s schools probably has some such policy and a Nutrition Advisory Group, including parents, who help set and monitor it. But the policies can be weak or strong.
Read some of these success stories, check out your school system’s rules, learn about local fresh food, and consider being an Angry Mom or Dad. The threat to the adult healthcare costs of your children – and your community – are huge.