I don’t write much about my diabetes. This is mostly because it’s not one of my favorite subjects. The fact that I suffer from diabetes that, in part, is probably attributable to my own lifestyle choices, is shameful. I do eat more healthful fare since I found out, but today is not the day to give you a rundown on what I’ve eaten. I’ll do it anyway. I think I’ve probably eaten a typical American diet today.
1 chocolate frosted donut (I didn’t buy it, but my boss did, and I could hardly be rude)
1 Double Stack hamburger off the Extra Value Meal at Wendy’s
This is not a diet of which my doctor would exactly approve. Now, to be fair, I don’t usually eat this badly most days. The fact is that most Americans eat pretty poorly. We don’t get nearly enough fruits and vegetables. The “grains” we eat are usually found in sugary cereals and bleached white bread. We eat processed foods: processed meat, processed cheese, fake everything. News flash: fruit “snacks” are not fruit, and pop tarts do not provide your daily serving of fruit. I don’t care what the package says.
In case you haven’t heard enough about our country’s growing obesity crisis, I’ll add to the message. I won’t lecture you, though. At nearly 200 pounds and 5’3” tall, I have no room to talk. I am America’s obesity crisis, even after a recent significant weight loss.
What I do want to write about is changing things around for America’s children. It’s too late for me. High blood pressure and diabetes are something I’m going to have to live with and manage for the rest of my life. But it’s not too late for America’s children.
I read an article about a bill that some people were trying to push through Congress to increase the funding for school lunches. The quality of school lunches in America has been abysmal since before I was a child. I grew up in the Reagan era, when ketchup was actually declared to be a vegetable. Seriously.
The British chef, Jamie Oliver, is trying to change things for America’s school children by teaching school districts to create healthy meals for children using real, whole and nutritious foods. He wrote an article on The Huffington Post about this school lunch bill, and I agree with him. It’s appalling that we haven’t increased the funding for school lunches in how many years? I think his article said that it had been over thirty years. Considering that the school lunch program is the only “decent” meal that some kids get in a day, it’s scary that the meals aren’t actually decent. As an adult, I can make my own food choices, but our children are forced to eat what we provide for them.
I would urge you to contact your congressman and let him know that you think that our kids deserve decent, healthy food. Whether you have children yourself or not, this involves our health as a nation. Think about it. When you and I are old, who’s going to be contributing to our Social Security (if it survives that long)? The same young people that we’re now forcing to eat crap, that’s who. Don’t you want them to be healthy enough for you to enjoy your sunset years? I sure do.