Research roundup–soda and school food

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published statistics this week stating half of all Americans drink a soda or other sugary beverage every day. One in 20 people drink over four cans. Four cans! I simply cannot fathom that. Health experts recommend we drink less than half a can. That’s like one of those little baby cans at the store. Does anyone ever buy those? Yeah, they probably buy them for their babies. Ok, maybe not babies, but toddlers for sure.

Apparently this is appalling to more people than just me, as a coalition of 100 organizations are planning to step up efforts to curb the sale of sugary drinks on their property, and stop providing them in business meetings. Many schools have also stopped selling soda and other high-sugar drinks.

My favorite, however, is a new media campaign running in Los Angeles that will ask, “If you wouldn’t eat 22 packs of sugar, why are  you drinking it?”

Photo: wanderingshepard.org

That looks like about 22 packets, doesn’t it? And even though sugar in the raw looks all organic and artisanal, it’s still sugar!

In other, more personal news, I went to my first book signing last night, at a Denver-area Tattered Cover bookstore.

That’s Amy Kalafa, award-winning filmmaker, and author of “Lunch Wars: How to Start a Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health.” The book is an off-shoot of Kalafa’s film, “Two Angry Moms: Fighting for the Health of America’s Children,” and offers would-be activists a plan for getting unhealthy food out of their kids’ schools.

Though the whole “angry mom” characterization feels a little off-putting to me, I guess that’s what I’m starting to become. The school year is only one month old, and I’ve already had my share of frustrations about the kind of food both of my kids are getting at school. Mike and I work really hard to make sure our kids have a healthy diet, with a little bit of room left over now and then for “special treats.” But the older they get, the more the boys are exposed to junky snacks, juice boxes and other empty calories, and the harder it is to decide when to let it go and when to speak up.

Don’t misunderstand me here; we eat our fair share of pizza and ice cream in this house. But WE get to decide when that happens, how much, and how it gets framed in the story of our family’s food choices. When candy and cookies are the reward for a job well done at school, it sends a message I don’t endorse, and it makes sugar seem more acceptable and available. Does that piss me off? Yeah, it does. I just haven’t figured out how I want to handle it. Maybe after reading Kalafa’s book, I’ll have a better idea.

There’s me with Ms. Kalafa. And look, I’m wearing something other than workout clothes. Hurray!

Hope you all have a safe, fun and active holiday weekend. I’m not sure what we have planned in the wishfit household, but I’ll try to make it blog-worthy!

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6 thoughts on “Research roundup–soda and school food

  1. Papa says:

    When we meet you and Garrett and Graham in Wisconsin next week it will be nothing but healthy Wisconsin food. Friday we’ll have a nice snack of UW ice cream and Rocky Rococo pan style pizza. And over the weekend some good Wisconsin beer and brats. But we’ll balance it out with plenty of football on tv. Bring the Kalafa’s book!

  2. Pingback: LiveWell | wishfit

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