If you are needing some inspiration, be sure to tune into chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution starting April 12, 7 p.m. on ABC. Jamie Oliver has dedicated himself to teaching people how easy it is to cook and eat better, healthier foods. He loves to point out that we are killing ourselves with our poor diet choices and sedentary lifestyles. His main focus on these shows is to go into the school system to try to change school menus.
I have long been appalled at what school cafeterias serve, all under Federal guidelines to meet nutritional standards! That means as part of a "healthy" lunch, your childrens' school can serve desserts, french fries and processed meats. That is why my kids have almost always taken their lunch. With the current Federal standards and the way schools interpret them, it's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic.
Jamie Oliver shows just what makes up some of the popular foods we eat such as chicken nuggets. You probably won't want to eat another chicken nugget if you see what's in them. American kids have abysmal eating habits and parents are partly to blame. The food industry with the millions it spends on junk food and advertising aimed at children is also to blame. But parents can raise healthy eaters by offering fresh fruits and vegetables and cooking at home.
The exception is poor people. They often don't have access to stores that carry decent produce, if any, and the price of junk food is often cheap compared to healthier foods. This is something that has to change in our country if we want to control health costs. Everyone wants to cut reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals and hold them accountable for rising costs. However, just as much emphasis needs to be placed on individuals to be responsible for their own health. If you are 5' tall and weigh 300 pounds, you are going to have joint pain and shortness of breath as well as a host of other problems. Don't expect your doctor to have a cure if you can't control your weight.
So tune in and watch Jamie Oliver. It just might be the push your family needs to do better. In the meantime, check out the HMG Health and Fitness Expo on April 16 and 17. I'll be cooking at 4 p.m. on Saturday.