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Elisa Batista's picture

I have heard our school lunches called a lot of things, but never an actual security risk. That's what a group of retired military officers called it since many children today are too overweight to serve in the armed forces.

From the Associated Press:

"A new report being released Tuesday says more than 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. Now, the officers are advocating for passage of a wide-ranging nutrition bill that aims to make the nation's school lunches healthier.

"The officers' group, Mission: Readiness, was appearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

"The military group acknowledges that other things keep young adults out of the armed services, such as a criminal record or the lack of a high school diploma. But weight problems that have worsened over the past 15 years are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected."

I am not saying that childhood obesity is not an issue or concern. But when I read about officials focusing on only what children carry in their lunch boxes, I feel that they are missing the point. Weight gain can be genetic, but also emblematic of lifestyle. Whenever I hear of people dieting, I cringe, because I think a quick food fix is not what is needed, but a "lifestyle change." Exercise, for example, is important, too. But how many physical education programs have been cut due to budgetary concerns? How many cash-strapped parents are relying on the tube -- rather than an actual babysitter -- for childcare? How many kids are trapped inside their own homes because they live in unsafe neighborhoods? Processed food and such is just a tip of the problem, and these officials are missing the big picture.

What do you all think?

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