Is it time for a national school meal program?
Parents all over the country have been packing their kids' lunchboxes this week, largely because Canada is the only G8 country without a national school meal program.
While there are stacks of local initiatives and provinces do provide some funding to subsidize meals and regulate the stuff pouring out of kitches and vending machines, the majority of families are on their own when it comes to school nutrition.
And that doesn't seem to be working out too well. There are more obese children than there ever were, prompting critics to call for a more coordinate effort to combat the problem.
But are subsidized meals the solution? Well, some people certainly think so.
In Europe, school meal programs are seen as investments in children’s health, and not as tax drains.
France, for instance, has a well-regarded universal school meal program. Half is subsidized by the government, and parents pay the rest according to household income. The same goes for the United States.
While the U.S. program has garnered a fair share of nutritional flak, including an unflattering comparison to prison food, it clealy helps some families. And there's no question that research has found that a healthy meal at school quickly leads to increased success in the classroom.
Granted, we may be a more geographically and culturally diverse country than those in Europe, but that's no excuse for the current fragmented programs, say those advocating for a national program.
Would you support a universal school meal program funded with public dollars?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Al-Man | Sep 5, 2021 10:31:15 AM
It might be a nice program for the bigger cities, but what do you do in rural communities where the cost to add a cafeteria to a school would be worth more than the school itself? Many schools are being shut down as it is due to lack of funding. Why add to the already stretched tight budget and shut even more down? Not all schools in this country have a cafeteria attached to them.
I think many problems with obese children start at home and are perpetuated in a cafeteria. It was shown on programs in Britain that the meals served in schools are served on the cheap and really did nothing to combat obesity because the children wouldn't eat anything healthy anyway.
Instead of trying to set up a school meal program, why not set up a system where you improve the quality of home ec courses to teach HEALTHY cooking skills, educate more school age children about eating healthier, and set up a system where physical training classes are mandatory in school. Outside of school I think it would help a huge amount to get kids the hell away from TV, video games, and doing nothing. Get them outside and doing something. It doesn't have to be part of any organized program, just get out.
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Sep 5, 2021 4:03:21 PM
Here is an idea - stay out of it. Kids aren't obese because of pop machines and lunch cafeterias. People are obese because we sit around all day and don't exercise. Get the politics out of this discussion and look at what the real issues are.
Also, look at how many adults are obese? More than ever right? Who's fault is that? Is it the grocery store's fault for selling cookies and pop? Should we spend a bunch of tax payer's money to remedy that issue?
If the government wants to do anything for the schools - have the phys. ed teachers teach fitness and nutrition in classes - with actual physical activities. Promote physical activities and jobs for the future. Look at most of our work force now compared to the past.
We have machines that take care of most of our everyday needs. We don't even have to roll down our car windows anymore.
Anything that makes life easier, also contributes to burning less calories.
We have to stop making excuses for everything and blaming everyone else.
We need to stop being lazy! Parents and Kids........
Posted by: Dr. J. L. | Sep 6, 2021 6:28:29 PM
Mr. Negative, what are your credentials for making such statements? Yes, I agree that exercise is crucial, but all this high card, low fat crap consumed in NA is what is causing obesity. I have to deal with so many people that are extremely physically active, yet still have heart attacks and strokes. I have heard so many argue that they can eat all the garbage (high carb junk) they want, and as long as they exercise to burn it off, they are tip-top! Yah RIGHT! That's called Type II Diabetes when you get older.
Posted by: Mr. Negative | Sep 7, 2021 8:55:52 AM
Dr. J.L - what are your credentials to make the statements you are making? You clearly agree that exercise is key. Do you also agree that people who may be over weight aren't doing enough exercise? I agree with you as well, the foods we eat aren't that great for us. However, you have a better chance keeping the weight off if you exercise.
My main point is, we need to stop blaming everyone else for our problems. We have excuses for Obesity, the financial crisis, and anything else you want to bring up. It is always someone elses fault. If i burn myself with coffee today - it is the coffee shops fault for not telling me it was hot! Come on!
Why should the government (who allowed) these companies to sell the products in the schools (for a profit i am sure) turn around and spend our (tax payers) money, to fix the problem? Why is that our responsibilty now? Someone has made a boat load of money off of selling the foods in the schools, and in return our government wants to make another private corporation rich by giving someone money to create a healthy meal?
I have a question for you - do you really believe this article is about saving the Obesity rate in our countries? Or one of a political agenda?
Posted by: Frank | Sep 8, 2021 4:10:13 PM
Why don't we just go cradle to the grave and be done with it. Everybody gets the same wages, eats the same food, wears the same clothes and uses the same toilet paper. If people have become so irresponsible that they can't even feed their children or themselves properly then the human race will, in time, disappear. As for the social responsibility we have to ensure that all those who have no interest in taking care of themselves receive government assistance. Do chicken have teeth? Can fish fly?