school dinners cause political friction

There has nothing been more exciting than the question of what children should or should not eat and who decides the quality of the food. Ever since Jamie Oliver came on the scene, we hear that our daily diet determines our health throughout life. The question of whose responsibility it is what a child eats has caused political storms. Even party colleagues start to squabble among themselves on this point.

The fact is that we live in a nanny state, that children spend 8 hours or more in schools, that they have to be fed whilst there. The choice is school dinners or packed lunch. Schools even want to dictate to parents what they children can bring to school and we’ve seen photos of parents coming to the gates with bags of chips to top up the dinner provisions.

Of course parents should be responsible what children eat but the understanding of how food affects our health is varied. Even health professionals are sometimes overweight, smoke and seem to care little about themselves.

Now Jamie Oliver makes us all aware what food does to us and I am sure not only children benefit from his campaign. Fact is that children’s health and treatment will affect all of his because treatment costs are spread out to affect us all.

Another question is, is it possible to ‘breed’ the perfect healthy human being? Should be desire this to happen or are we content with looking after each other as we always did.

Is there anybody able to live in perfect health just by eating healthy foods? I don’t think so and have experimented on that point and got the flu despite eating record amounts of fruit. There is more to health than just food, there is lifestyle and general habits. How much we drive, how much we walk and exercise is of as much importance as how much we eat.

We need to get the healthy attitude all around, make people who are too fat feel odd and not employ fat health workers and discriminate against them because of weight to set a good example. After all patients get discriminated against when they are too fat and get second-rate treatment, so why should we have to put up with fat nurses and fat health consultants?

Of course it is a noble cause to preach healthy eating and good foods, but many people can’t even afford to purchase those good foods on a low wage. People get driven to eating fat-rich diets by simply not being able to purchase 5 – a – day because it is too expensive. A healthy diet spans around so many things, eating the organic bread, getting low fat milk, having fruit, veg, salads and brown breads. Many healthy foods cost more than unhealthy foods. Then there is the problem of cooking for some when they can’t afford to pay for gas/electricity and need to use the local take-away, where chips are the favourite.  Apparently in areas where we compute high rates of poverty, we also see high rates of obesity. The matter is rather one of attitude for those who are rich but for those who are poor its lack of money; or how can these ‘poor’ people purchase that much food that they can get too fat but be poor at the same time? The answer is that fat foods are very cheap and healthy foods are very expensive. Eating is for many a comfort rather then a necessity too.

I understand Jamie Oliver has been through Italy and praised the Italian’s attitude towards feeding children. No fry-ups, only cooked, healthy meals. That is fine when the whole society lifestyle is centered around this and that is what we should be copying, that we change all our lifestyles. But really what would the electronics gadget manufacturers say, would anybody still know what to do without a TV in the home and don’t we all think its easier to order and have delivered rather than go on long shopping trips.

The cost of healthy foods is heavily determined by availability and the higher we populate the planet the more scarce healthy foods become and the more expensive they get. Yet I applaud Jamie Oliver for making us aware. If we only could turn back that clock.

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