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Editorial: What’s on your plate?

So the new nutritional guidelines are not only welcome, they’re like a lifeline thrown to a drowning swimmer. But that lifeline is thin and tenuous. It could break if we do not meet it with our own actions.

From what schools have told us and information collected anecdotally, the caveat in these new regulations is most students don’t have to buy into the meals. In many districts, students in middle school or high school are offered a whole host of a la carte options. In these age groups, students may well skip the apple and go for French fries. And for younger students, food from home might be healthy, or it might not.

This is the dirty truth when it comes to any effort to control the obesity problem: it rests on personal choice. It might very well take an entire generation lost to sloth and bad diet to shake us of it.

One healthy meal a day is a wonderful thing, but it will not cancel out an unhealthy lifestyle lived the rest of the day. Parents could do well to take a page from the menus at these schools and assess what lessons are being taught at home when it comes to nutrition and exercise.

Never has the old saying “An apple a day…” rang so true.

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