Remember the pyramid...the food one that is

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By Ben Hyatt

Sometimes it is difficult to talk about the problems that face our community, especially when kids are involved.
I was recently at the schools taking pictures for the first day back to school.
The kids, I must admit, were really cute. As they swarmed off the buses with their Sponge Bob Square Pants and Hello Kitty backpacks and confused-looking faces, something caught my attention very quickly.
Something was wrong. BIG time wrong. I saw the teachers marking the bus numbers on the kindergartners’ hands and thought to myself, “There is no way that kid is in kindergarten.”
We are not talking about the cute baby fat that kids shed after the winter months or the kind that is lost sometime between third and fifth grade. We are talking about 100 percent obese.
Don’t get me wrong, we had a few big kids in my class when I was growing up. We had the classmates who would fake injuries at PE time so they wouldn’t have to run and get all out of breath, but this was more than just a few kids.
I started doing some research online to see the percentage of overweight children in America today, and it is a sad number.
Over one-third of America’s child population is either extremely overweight or considered obese.
I mean no disrespect to anyone. For what it is worth, I don’t blame the kids at all for their poor diet and less-than-ideal figure.
I also don’t think the sole blame should be placed upon the parents in many cases, although some parents consider video games as baby-sitters.
Today is so high-paced that we all tend to forget how to slow down and take care of ourselves. Eating healthy and exercising has become too time consuming and pricey in some American’s eyes.
Our solution to pricey, healthy food and lack of time for cooking a well-balanced meal is the increasingly easy-to-find fast food restaurants.
We have completely laid the food pyramid to rest and as a result, we now have kids in the schools who are diabetic.
Fortunately there is a solution to the problem. Harrison County has recently hired a food coordinator to monitor the food that the students are choosing and consuming everyday while they are at school.
The purpose of the coordinator will be to conduct frequent observations in what the kids are eating and not eating. Fruits and vegetables will be promoted to the kids.
Children will also receive some education about eating healthy and eventually parents will be taught how to supply adequate nutrition to children, even on limited incomes.
This really is a problem that needs to change and change quickly. There will always be room for a McDonald’s Happy Meal in a growing kid’s diet, it just does not belong in the every day diet.
For a complete story of the changes Harrison County Schools are making in students’ school diets read next week’s edition of the Cynthiana Democrat.