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Pizza Is a Vegetable?!

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Unhealthy school lunchSo apparently Congress is in need of a nutrition seminar on what a vegetable is. Like many of you, when I heard that Congress said that pizza and French fries are vegetables, I was shocked. How can these politicians allow our childhood obesity epidemic to continue by continuing to allow two of the most unhealthy foods in our schools? They apparently don’t care that young people are being told they are too fat to fight in the military or that one in three children under the age of 18 will develop Type 2 Diabetes in their lifetime or even that the rate of childhood obesity has doubled since the 1980’s.

With all the progress we have made to improve the nutritional standards for school lunches over the past few years, this is definitely in my opinion a step back. Congress has made it a point to make sure that pizza continues to count as a vegetable because of the tomato sauce and that French fries (potatoes) remain a staple on kids’ lunch trays. I don’t have anything against pizza (it’s actually one of my fave foods), but do we really need greasy, calorie rich pizza to deliver nutrients to children and count it as a vegetable because of the tomato paste? This is worst than ketchup being considered a vegetable!

The need to protect our children's health has never been clearer. If the cost of food is what they are worried about, Congress needs to consider that by giving children the opportunity to eat foods that are nutritious now in the long run it will more than pay for itself in prevented healthcare costs. Just my 2 cents.

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Tags: Healthy Eating

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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