How healthy foods make kids fatter


Drew Timmons

Luke Ruff

Luke Ruff, Staff Writer

Michelle Obama might be the biggest fighter of childhood obesity the world has ever seen. And while childhood obesity has indeed become a problem over the past decade, Obama’s tactics of stopping the spread of the condition have become an entirely different predicament.

Food manufacturers are now scrambling to create new dishes and meals that comply with health standards, resulting in notable reduction of core elements, decrease in flavor, and smaller portions.

While most restaurants have yet to get the memo, school lunchrooms were the first to completely shake up their menus and replace decent entrees and sides with lesser, but otherwise healthier alternatives.

I went through a brief phase in seventh grade where I ate lunchroom food instead of bringing my meal from home. And while it beat dragging my twenty pound lunchbox around all day, that was the only good thing about it.

The food just was not good. Well, it was not as good as the food if been bringing to school, anyway.

So, some ten days after the first time I ate lunchroom food at Mabry, I found myself armed with a new lunchbox that was filled to the brim with junk food every day until graduation.

See, unless there’s no other option, these new healthy foods will not become popular amongst the general populous due to the simple fact that anyone can get much better tasting alternatives at any grocery store.

However, said alternatives are usually very fattening. This completely nullifies Obama’s efforts to make food healthy, because by doing so, she has driven people away from the more nutritious versions of their favorite dishes.

Upon realizing her mistake, the healthy foods have started to become more appealing, but at the price of their serving size.

My cousin (then six years old) was ready for a nice happy meal from his favorite restaurant. But upon opening the cardboard box with the Golden Arches on top, to his horror he found apple slices and portions of fries so small that they would not be a filling meal for an Oompa Loompa.

Following a screaming fit and twelve fries flying out the window, my aunt found herself driving through again and ordering a super sized number 2 combo.

The theory is that if people have a reasonable amount of their favorite foods, it is still healthy. The problem stems from that all the good foods are packed to the brim with calories and other miscellaneous elements, thus making their serving sizes comically small.

This belief also affected the lunchrooms, where I estimate that a complete meal was roughly 400 calories. Due to the kids not being allowed to eat outside of lunch at Mabry, by the time they got home they would be as hungry as a pet rabbit who’s owners had been on vacation for a few weeks.

Like any other hungry organism, the kids would then proceed to raid the nearest food source, which would either be the pantry or the fridge. After a two hour gorge phase, the kids would be contempt and full, but only after consuming some 1,000 calories.

Stuff like that piles up over time – you cannot overeat every day and expect to maintain your weight. And in reality, that’s probably why childhood obesity rates are still not improving – the healthy foods just aren’t satisfying for kids. And until they are, those rates will not drop.