Thursday, April 7, 2011

This should be mandatory viewing for everyone!

I'm a little behind the times on most things - I just barely saw "Supersize Me" (which came out in, what, 2004?). I haven't had McDonald's in years (the last time was at a birthday party and both my daughter and I were feeling queasy on the way home), so I think their stuff tastes gross anyway, but I think a lot of what Morgan Spurlock discovers also applies to other fast food chains (which I do frequent a little too... frequently).

Basically he goes on a diet of eating Mcd's 3X a day for a month. The only food he can eat has to come from them. The weight gain is expected but still a surprisingly high number, I think it's his cholesterol that shoots up like 200 times what it was before he started, his liver ends up resembling that of an alcoholic's and is close to shutting down. I honestly don't think this is mostly about weight, it's about health. Even if someone is skinny it certainly doesn't guarantee that they're healthy.

What really struck a chord with me, though, was the portion of the film on school lunches and the politics of why our kids are being served processed chemicals for lunch with junk food as a side. Then add in the fact that physical ed is being cut out in many instances. This is the state of our education? That those who are supposed to be teaching our children can't even reason out that physical activity actually stimulates brain activity? The healthier you are physically, the better you are able to focus mentally.

They actually found a charter school that was specifically for troubled kids (you know the ones that get kicked out of all the other schools). Now, they had a police officer who had to break up numerous fights daily. I kid you not - they changed the lunches they serve to come from a company who serves freshly made veggies, made from scratch lasagna, etc and cut out all soda, sugared drinks, and junk food. After the next 2 years of having NO fights, the cop asked why they still had him there! And the kids tried harder academically and did better. Makes you wonder - do YOU know what YOUR kids are being fed for lunch? One girl at the normal schools was getting an order of french fries and milk and said "Well I've got my calcium and my vegetable". Now, maybe she was joking, but there were several kids who only got chips and cookies for lunch.

Do I think this means that we shouldn't EVER eat processed foods or fast food? Maybe in theory, but I know it won't stop me. But I DO think that we should be aware that such chemically processed stuff is NOT good for us and can have harmful side effects, especially in excess.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I want to finish my oatmeal Peanut butter chocolate chip cookie :)

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