The Childhood Nutrition Movement is in Full Swing
Have you noticed? In the last few years, there has been more attention than ever on feeding children healthy foods. Consider all these different groups:
- Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver's campaign is credited with having a profound effect on the British Government's decision to ban junk food from schools.
- In an official proclamation declaring National School Lunch Week, President Bush declared that "by helping our children make healthy choices not only about food but also about their overall well-being, we can reduce the rates of childhood obesity and diabetes and help prevent heart disease, stroke, and other diseases later in life. Nutritious meals can also improve students' concentration and help them succeed in school." And don't forget these related federal programs.
- A coalition of food suppliers has launched a campaign called Eat Smart Grow Strong.
- Stonyfield Farm is leading a grassroots effort to get children to eat healthier food.
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest has a massive, multifaceted campaign designed to help citizens improve nutrition for young people.
- As we'll seein the next post, Cooks Illustrated founder and editor Christopher Kimball, who is also the host of TV's America's Test Kitchen, is on the case too.
That is just the tip of the iceberg. There are similar public and private programs at regional and local levels across the country and around the globe.
Of course, all of these programs have their strengths and weaknesses. One thing to keep in mind: in programs sponsored by food manufacturers, drug companies, or those with a financial, political, or social motive, the potential is there for the science to be clouded in favor of such views. But the one really good thing is that every one of these programs promotes the idea that children should be getting a greater percentage of their calories from healthy foods like fresh vegetables and fruit. Who can argue with that?
The approach Dr. Fuhrman describes in Disease-Proof Your Child takes the generally accepted bandwagon a step further and surveys the science of disease-causation in an impartial way--so that parents who are looking to protect the health of their children can know exactly what they need to do with scientific integrity. The book has precise recommendations to help protect children against later life cancers and most other diseases. The fact that childhood food choices are the major factor governing tragic illnesses later in life has a silver lining: now parents (not doctors and drug companies) have the power to prevent disease.
As Dr. Fuhrman points out, "research scientists have been forced to accept the idea that the causes of cancer are usually set into motion more than 50 years before diagnosis. Our big artillery in the war on cancer is truly in our kitchen; but we must start feeding our kids right to unleash the big guns."