Published on Sunday, November 20, 2011 by The Norseman Staff
Obesity. It’s an epidemic, we’ve been told, and the facts are there to back it up. Since 1980, the percentage of adolescents who are obese has almost tripled, according to the CDC.
Government agencies and medical researchers can tell us that we need to lead better, healthier lifestyles and impose rules that enforce such assessments, but these rules are futile if we don’t actually make the decisions for ourselves.
As students, we see the unhealthy habits that our peers, and ourselves, take on and make a daily routine. School regulations have attempted to force students to eat healthy at school, by suggesting that soda machines can’t be on campus or students can’t share food.
Yet, these regulations do little but isolate and damage students further, as they learn to simply hide their bad eating habits and resent healthy eating. In the real world, soda machines are on every corner, and fast food restaurants promote cheap soda sales.
This isolationist perspective of hiding students from the reality of unhealthy and damaging food doesn’t prepare them for life after graduation.
We do not learn how to make the decision to not have that soda.
We do not learn how to pick the healthy food for ourselves instead of the extra-large fries.
Instead of making pointless regulations, schools should teach students about the dangers of unhealthy foods and more importantly, show them how to make the decision for themselves. Students should be taught the advantages of eating healthy foods and disadvantages of doing otherwise.
Schools should demonstrate not only the value of eating healthy, but the value that comes from deciding to live a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise. Eating. It’s all a decision that one must make every day.
This isn’t just a matter of getting into the scientific anatomy of what exercise is, but showing students how their own lives can be impacted and improved through adopting a healthier lifestyle.
It’s ultimately the individual’s decision to pick what they eat. Just remember, it’s not a matter of choosing a meal, but choosing an outcome for your life.