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Nutrition Education Has Proved to Be Futile

The federal spending on nutrition education in US seems to have been in vain thus far .

But the government is planning to spend over a billion dollars on its nutrition program this year too.

An independent study of 57 such programs showed that only four demonstrated any real success in changing the way kids eat or any promise as a weapon against the growing epidemic of childhood obesity.

No difference in the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten by kids participating in the program and those who weren't. Teachers who spent more hours on nutrition education had no greater impact than those who didn't. And parent behavior didn't change either.

Kids don't change because they've been eating it for so long they're just accustomed to eating that way.

The federal pilot program which offered fruits and vegetables to the children in school was unsuccessful because the children refused to eat them. They didnt like its taste. They still went for chips and soda or unhealthy junk food.

One expert acknowledges that the forces that cause obesity are "hard to fight with just a program in school. "Federal nutrition programs aside, experts agree that parents have the greatest influence over what their children will eat.

Doctor Robert Trevino of the Social and Health Research Center in San Antonio says that if parents don't teach their kids good eating habits before puberty, the challenge to get them to eat healthier as teenagers will be much harder.

Poorer kids are especially at risk, because unhealthy food is cheaper and more easily available than healthy food. Parents are often working, leaving children unsupervised to get their own snacks. Low-income neighborhoods have fewer good supermarkets with fresh produce.

Meanwhile, it's harder for children to exercise on their own. Parks often aren't safe and sports teams cost money.

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