By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.
If our U.S. congressional representatives get their way public school menus will classify a plain slice of Pizza as a vegetable. Undoubtedly, a growing child will be educated to believe and practice exacerbated poor eating habits, not to mention suffer through a high level of confusion thinking bleached flour dough and canned tomato paste is a fresh and/or nutritious garden vegetable. Sure tomato paste has Vitamins A & C with dietary fiber, iron, and calcium; conversely, the average serving of one Pizza slice contains 8-teaspoons of sugar, or 32 grams per serving.
Congress members are really taking advantage of young minds by over loading their delicate health systems with large amounts of sugars and sodium crammed products. Politicians have been at this misdirection for some time, where they are also pushing to keep French fries classified on school lunch menus as a vegetable as well. Young children have to be living in a ball of confusion seeing French fries and pizza on their school menus as nutritious.
Projected diabetes cases are occurring faster than the obesity epidemic. Most cases of diabetes are Type 2, and are linked to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle. Worse still, the leading cause of deaths in America continues to rise from poor eating habits. The American Heart Association clearly defines the dangers from eating too much processed sugar that lead to heart disease and other medical groups and health professionals support their position that overeating processed sugars contribute significantly to heart disease.
Following heart disease in the top 10 leading causes of deaths in America is cancer, stroke (cerebrovascular diseases), chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents (unintentional injuries), Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Influenza and Pneumonia, Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and
nephrosis (kidneys damaged leak large amounts of protein from the blood into the urine, Septicemia (blood poisoning, a pathogenic organisms in the bloodstream, leading to sepsis). With the exception of accidents, the number 5 on the list, each of the other causes are highly linked to immune deficiencies and bad eating habits. Eating processed sugars damage and suppress the efficiency of the immune system more than any other food ingredient.
During this era of contemporary health consciousness, I present an unverified theory of why congress is pushing pizza and French fries snack foods, which points toward significant money rewards from pizza/food lobbyists. Considering that pizza sales continue to evolve upward and have been strong for years, which equate to an industry with accessible influence over political representatives. Roughly 70 million students attend public schools, which conservatively easily add up to hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts in pizza sales per school day. After all, when an industry in America collects annual sales in excess of $40 billion dollars it has the ability to persuade product consumption in their favor.
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.