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Reduce high-fat meat and dairy to fight kids' obesity



Date published: 6/6/2006

As a dietitian, I agree with Jennifer Motl that simply removing sodas from schools is not enough ["School soda plan a start, not a finish," May 21].

The percentage of obese teenagers has tripled in the past two decades, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, but soda isn't the only culprit.

Meat and dairy products--which are high in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol--share the blame for our children's expanding waistlines.

The greasy chicken nuggets, cheese pizza, and chocolate pudding offered in school lunch lines and elsewhere are helping our kids pack on the pounds--and acquire the diseases associated with being overweight.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidizes high-fat meat and milk and pushes these products on schools through its commodity foods program.

It's time for the USDA to increase its offerings of healthy vegetarian commodity foods, such as brown rice, pinto beans, apples, and carrots.

These are the foods that will help American children win the battle with obesity.

Dulcie Ward

Washington

Dulcie Ward is a staff dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.