D.A.R.E. to make healthy choices

15 Mar

Earlier, I posted asking people to vote for my proposal to curb childhood obesity on Slate.  Unfortunately, I had to post quickly, and didn’t get a chance to fully explain it.  Slate’s Time to Trim Hive is “a project to crowdsource solutions to childhood obesity.”  They asked for readers to submit proposals and for others to vote on them.

Here’s my proposal:

We have D.A.R.E. to teach kids to say no to drugs. In D.A.R.E. we teach them what drugs really do to their bodies and how to make responsible decisions. We need a similar program about food, exercise, and physiology. Kids need to learn that sugar and caffeine can be dangerous and addicting. Let’s teach them about blood sugar levels and how foods interact. They need to learn about the impact that different types of foods have on their bodies and how what they eat can affect how they feel. Let’s teach them to make reasonable, moderate choices. And, like D.A.R.E., let’s do it in a positive way. Some bodies are just built heavier than others. Some kids won’t be skinny, no matter what they do. And that’s okay. This class can’t be another time (joining gym, health, and sports) where fat kids are made to feel stigmatized. We need to include information on metabolism and how everyone’s body is different. How it’s about health, not weight. So, let’s sit down with Michael Pollan and Michelle Obama and other leaders interested in the subject and develop a curriculum. Let’s find some sponsors to help us roll it out across the county across all levels of our schools. (Bill Gates, I’m looking at you.) Let’s start it early and make it fun and interesting. Like D.A.R.E., we’ll reach kids on their levels, introducing some concepts in elementary school and building on their knowledge as they grow older. Let’s have kids running home to share the information with their parents. As the program expands, we can add parental education components and engage local communities in the discussion. (Oh, and we’ll also give out awesome T-shirts.)

Click here to vote for my submission.  Remember you can vote using your Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, or Yahoo information.  Also, it looks like I only need about 30 more votes to move into the finals.  So, please, Share on Facebook with your friends.

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