Blog: The Educated Reporter

How fat are our kids?

When it comes to food I maintain what I see as a sensible balance but what others might find hypocritical or insane—there may be cookies in my house, but they are made from scratch and washed down with organic milk, and while this afternoon I snapped at my husband for getting me a doughnut filled with “kreme” rather than custard, far more often (and with nearly equal enthusiasm) I snack on cherry tomatoes.

That ambivalence marks my attitudes toward the newly energized campaign for healthy eating among children. On one hand, I find the focus on school gardens and organic cafeterias sort of silly, but at the same time I think it is a no-brainer that schools should be rid of honey buns in the federally subsidized breakfasts, soda in the vending machines and Little Debbies in the cafeteria.

Whatever your take, make sure you get the facts straight. This Slate piece by Daniel Engber suggests—in the handy clickable sentences at the bottom—that advocates are overstating some of the facts. You don’t need to exaggerate the problem when it is clear there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to American children’s diet and exercise.

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