July 4 2011
On this 4th of July, don't just celebrate independence -- celebrate food independence. That's the topic of a new article from Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women's Forum (IWF).
"There's a lot of government programs out there right now that are feeding our kids," she notes. "The point I was trying to make [in the column] was parents need to take control of their children's nutrition. If we want healthy kids, the only people [who are able] to achieve that is going to be the parents -- not the federal government."
Gunlock adds that "the most basic responsibility of a parent is to feed their child."
"And it's too bad today that parents are ceding that responsibility to the government," she laments. "They say 'Go ahead and eat what's available in the lunch line' -- and then we're all shocked that children are becoming obese."
The IWF spokeswoman argues that school meals are not the healthiest meals and that they are never going to be, no matter how much money and/or bureaucracy is involved. "The only way that we can improve and really take control of what our kids are eating is to pack them a sack lunch," she suggests. "It doesn't take long -- and it doesn't cost much money."
Gunlock also points out that, despite what politicians, public figures, and advocates are saying, research shows child obesity has not gone up over the last ten years, leading her to believe that there has been some improvement.
"However, when you also look at the research on what actually does stop children from becoming obese, there are three things: watching less television, sitting down to dinner with your parents and your family, and going to bed early. And that has nothing to do with schools."