At any rate, this story in The New York Times comes so close to making a major realization. Turns out a new study tracked 5,000 kindergarten and first grade students. Here's a shocking finding:
"Their biggest gain in body mass index, the researchers found, came during the summer."
So it's not the fault of the teachers. It's not the cafeteria food. Heck, it's not even the soda and candy machines (though I do agree those don't belong in schools).
So that leaves ... I don't know ... those mysterious adults who care for children when they're not in the care of the schools. And what does it say about those adults that their tots burn more calories during the school year with those meager recess periods (and MAYBE a gym class) than they do at home?
But, as is all too common for these sorts of studies, this is the conclusion we're left with at the end of the story:
"Health officials who want to reduce obesity may need to broaden their approach: 'Perhaps the most productive interventions will be those that target children's behavior not only during school hours but also, and most important, after the bell rings.'"
Interventions? Targeting CHILDREN'S behavior? They're CHILDREN. It's not Kraft. It's not Cartoon Network. It's not BBDO. It's lazy, blame-passing parents. Target their frickin' parents already. The kids don't -- or shouldn't -- have a choice in the matter. Why, when I was a lad, we were kicked out of the house immediately after breakfast and not allowed back in until dusk. Bathroom and lunch breaks were all taken outside. And, hell yes, we walked five miles to school uphill in the snow/coma-inducing heat ... both ways.