It seems like the US government has realised that Nutrition Education is failing.
“The Federal government will spend more than $1 billion this year on nutrition education- fresh carrots and celery snacks, videos of dancing fruit, hundreds of hours of lively lessons about how you will feel great if you eat well.” noted Forbes.
They mention that everyone- from administrators to parents and children need education on this subject. Not so much on the execution plan. Imperative Eduation like this should be a part of school as much as the bricks and mortar and the students. It cannot be viewed as a Government-driven, external-agent facilitated program- it will achieved poor results.
Nutrition should be an important part of school-life and students should be taught to take care of themselves through life by consuming a balanced daily intake of foodgroups. They should be taught how to read the Nutrition table, know why water is good for them, be shown the value of exercise. This should form part of the curriculum of “Beyond School…” and should encompass skills needed day-to-day: repairing minor electrical faults, changing car tyres, banking cheques etc.
Dovetailed to this curriculum should be a piece on “Growing Up in a Media World” – today children spend over 40 hours per week in front of screens. They are constantly hammered by communication from companies and children have to be given the understanding and skills to deal with managing the messages they hear. A study, quoted in the Forbes piece, showed that for every 1 advertisement for healthy and nutritious food, there are 50 for unhealthy and non-nutritious food.
In some schools, teachers keep children away from lunch on some days as a punishment. This sends a wrong signal to the growing child who tends to start seeing food as something dispensable, something that is for taste and greed, not for health and nutrition.