When Others Step Back, Schools Are Expected to Step Forward

A new report from the Institute of Medicine states, “schools should become a major focal point for preventing the spread of obesity in the United States”.  With one-third of children now considered overweight or obese, the institute predicts that the health care costs associated with obesity could become “catastrophic” in future years.  Since children spend a great deal of their waking hours in school, the report suggests that this “puts schools in a unique position to support students in getting optimum physical activity, eating healthily, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

Schools do bear a responsibility for helping children who are either overweight or obese.  However, the Institute of Medicine is ignoring the extraordinary cutbacks in education across the country.  Haven’t they seen that the cuts are being made in physical education, as well as the unimportant areas of physical exercise because these subjects are not being tested by states or the federal government’s Race to The Top?

When did parents abrogate their responsibility of insuring proper feeding of their children in the home or at restaurants?  When did the restaurant industry become absolved of their responsibility to cut back on sugar and salt in the foods they prepare?  Why isn’t the Institute of Medicine calling upon them to be the “focal point for preventing the spread of obesity?