Day 236 Question 236:
How much (if at all) should schools and the government be involved in children’s/youth eating habits/nutrition content?
If you know me and have read my random thoughts throughout this blog then you already know that I think government has far too much involvement in people’s lives. We have built this system that is supposed to “protect” the people but it has grown so large that it now determines people’s every little move and decision. Maybe that is extreme to say but sometimes I feel that to be true. Yes, childhood obesity is becoming a HUGE problem in this country but I question how much involvement the government should have in determining what people are putting in their bodies. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that eating any fast food (supersized) is not the healthiest choice but shouldn’t it be the choice of the consumer to decide what they want to do to their bodies…even if that means potentially having high blood pressure or diabetes?
I support school involvement when it comes to teaching health and nutrition. There are many households where parents don’t or are unable to teach kids about healthy eating and the importance of staying active. Yes, I believe it is part of their job but sometimes even adults haven’t been thoroughly educated on the subject so how can we expect them to educate their children? I guess I look at society as a little warped sometimes. To be healthy does not equate to being skinny or having the “perfect” rock hard body. To be healthy means to be free of diseases and to have your body function in a normal, healthy manner. Society does not depict health this way though. We are constantly having images of super models and athletes in our faces that promote diet pills and intense workout programs to get that flat, six-pack stomach. Unfortunately, this is not a reality for a huge part of the population. The perception of what beauty is has been warped and skewed by the media. Our bodies are our temple and yes we should treat this temple with great respect but life does get crazy sometimes and we sometimes abuse this temple. I always say life is this great balancing act and our individual health is part of that balancing act. There are opportunities EVERYWHERE to educate ourselves. I do not believe it is the responsibility of the government or schools to force us/teach us everything that there is to be known about eating healthy and practicing a healthy lifestyle. We do not need things handed to us and done for us when we have the ability to seek out knowledge. If I could afford it I would be a student for life….I would seek out every differing opinion that I could to see what fit best for my life. I have come to truly learn that life is about finding what comes naturally to each and every one of us….what our internal system is telling us is right NOT what everyone else is telling us is right.
I guess the way that I see how government has grown and how much it has been invasive in people’s lives, I have been left with a sour taste in my mouth. It saddens me to see young girls (and young boys too) hold their heads down in misery because they loathe their bodies. They are seeing images on TV and they long to duplicate those images…when in truth a great deal of those images have been altered. What goes on on television and what goes on in real life very rarely go hand in hand. As with most things, I don’t have the answers because this world is so much bigger than me. I do wish that we had a government that was not so money and power hungry and instead focused on the happiness of the individual and the family units. I wish that if the government were to be involved in national health that they would offer programs to educate as oppose to just making decisions for the whole….if someone wants to eat fast food every single day that should be their decision. I came into this world all alone and I will leave all alone, I do not believe that the government should tell me that I cannot have a supersized meal if I want it. This however is easier said than done though because with this raises so many more questions of what the government should be involved in. I see government as this entity that has so much potential for good but seems to only be using their “power” for evil. I guess with an election right around the corner I tend to go on my political rants…hahaha. I believe that the human being is the most sacred thing in the world. I believe people should try their hardest to practice the healthiest lifestyles they can but I do not believe they should HAVE to. When people are forced to do things I believe that humanity becomes a lot more lost….we lose individuality. I know there is also much debate about health care when it comes to people’s weight and medical issues. Again, I do not have all of the answers. We are a money driven world (not just country). Money is a necessary evil for survival. I understand taxpayers not wanting to pay for uninsured person’s that have chosen not to practice a healthy lifestyle. It is a double-edged sword. Where are the limits…what rules and regulations should be implemented that protect and help the people but do not take away their rights and their individuality? I truly believe that education is the key but delivery is so very important. We cannot make people feel guilty for their weight, their size or their body shape and expect them to want to hear a lecture about the importance of healthy eating. We have already damaged far too many people in this world by making them believe that skinny=successful. We need to motivate with words of encouragement and allow people to truly see and believe their own potential. We need to teach people that skinny and healthy are not always the same thing. We need to teach people that differing body sizes, shapes, types are what makes the world diverse and beautiful and it is only ignorant to see it any other way. Again, this is me looking at the world through rose colored glasses. I just believe that if the government MUST be involved in the health of individuals (i.e. what they eat) that they really need to choose their words and their methods wisely.