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Schools should offer healthy menu choices

Schools should offer healthy menu choices

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In response to an article focusing on health in schools ("School named among healthiest," Nov. 7, Page A5), I agree with their goal of trying to make schools healthier places.

I think that schools should provide students with healthier choices, especially in the cafeteria. Obesity is significantly increasing in our society today, and it all begins at a young age, when children are in school. Thirty thousand people in the United States die each year as a result of obesity.

To make Bloomington Junior High School one of the top 25 "healthiest student bodies" in the nation, some changes they made in the school's menu, including the removal of traditional potato chips, the reduction of dessert sizes and replacement of traditional high-fat snacks with healthy ones. This is a great example for other schools in our community.

David Cutler, Ed Glaeser and Jesse Shapiro, researchers at Harvard, concluded that "America's growing obesity problem is largely attributable to our economy's ability to supply high-calorie foods cheaply. Lower prices increase food consumption, sometimes beyond the point of optimal health."

This is a great way to change our food choices in schools. Raising the prices of high-calorie foods might help, but what would be even more effective would be if we supplied healthier food. That would assist in solving the whole problem right there.

Obesity is becoming a larger problem in our society. There are an estimated 12.5 million overweight children in America and that number has tripled in the last two decades. If we try to follow the example of Bloomington Junior High School, little by little we can change what our schools include in their cafeteria menus and make sure there are healthier choices - and make a difference in our Twin Cities, our state and even our nation. Olivia Castillo



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