A Moment of Science

Gov. Spending More Than A Billion Dollars On Nutrition Education

This year the U.S. federal government will spend over one billion dollars teaching kids about healthy eating.

Obese Child Timeline

Photo: Combined Media (flickr)

An Associated Press review of over fifty school-based nutrition programs found that they mostly fail. It seems that no matter how much teachers talk to kids about eating fruits and vegetables, it doesn't make much of a difference in what they actually eat.

This year the U.S. federal government will spend over one billion dollars teaching kids about healthy eating.

However, an Associated Press review of over fifty school-based nutrition programs found that they mostly fail. It seems that no matter how much teachers talk to kids about eating fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t make much of a difference in what they actually eat.

But why?

Nobody knows! I guess there’s a big difference between knowing that eating vegetables is healthy and actually doing it. There are just so many factors that contribute to obesity, like genetics, family eating habits, and lack of exercise, that it is difficult to pin down a cause.

This doesn’t mean that nutrition education is pointless, however. It could be that we just haven’t found the right way to get the message across. Maybe the key is changing not only people’s attitudes towards food but their actual behavior.

The frustrating thing is that we know that to curb obesity you have eat less and exercise more. It’s simple in theory, but getting people to actually do it is a problem that scientists haven’t solved.

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