Today’s Editorial July 26: Deciding on nutritious meals

Education Minister Alden McLaughlin believes school children need to be more active.

We agree.

They also need to eat properly.

But just whose responsibility is it to see that children get nutritious meals, especially at school?

We ask that question in our online poll at www.caycompass.com.

Readers get a chance to tell us if they think it should be parents, schools, government, helpers, kids or others who decide what constitutes a healthy school lunch.

While Government can enforce healthy lunches, it needs the support of parents to back up the decision.

It’s unfortunate that some parents complain to schools and Government about healthy food being served at schools when their children come home whining about nutritious lunches.

In those instances it is indeed the children making their own food choices; and usually those choices aren’t healthy.

A Health Services Administration study compared the weight, height and blood pressure of children entering the school system in 1987 and again in 2005.

The survey shows that our children are getting fatter.

What’s even worse, the study reveals rates of childhood obesity in the Cayman Islands are about double that of the United States and believe us, there are a tonne of obese children in the US.

It also showed an unprecedented increase in childhood blood pressure at a rate, again, double what is being seen in the US.

Fat kids are unhealthy kids.

They’re being set up for obesity in adulthood and a likelihood of co-morbid diseases later in life.

Something has to be done and it has to start with behaviour modification.

Minister McLaughlin is right. All of society in the Cayman Islands is going to have to rethink how it views food and nutrition.

We also need to think about activity. Kids need to get outside and get busy.

Shoving junk food in their mouths while playing on the computer, talking on the cell phone, watching television or some other useless activity in the air conditioned house has to come to stop.

So, who should be responsible?

Parents?

Schools?

Government?

Helpers?

Kids?

Others?

You decide, and let us know by logging on.

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