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Yesterday, we reported that The US National Academies' Institute of Medicine has issued a report urging that government and school officials take a more active role in dealing with the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic.

Among the recommendations was that schools should measure and record each year every child’s height, weight and body mass index; all foods and beverages sold on school property should meet certain nutritional guidelines, including have less fat and sugar than is now typical; every student should have at least 30 minutes of exercise a day in school-sponsored activities; parents should feed their kids healthier food, demand that they exercise more, and restrict TV and computer time, while communities should provide more recreational services to children; and that the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should sponsor a national conference that would set guidelines for the marketing of food and beverage products to children.

This generated a number of responses. MNB user Judith A. Brymer wrote:

Parents should be the ones to monitor their children's weight and height. Why should it fall on the schools to "watch over" the children's weight? It is not the schools' responsibility, it's a parenting responsibility. However, the schools should have nutritional guidelines on the food that they serve since during the time the children are at school, it is the their responsibility to feed them.

I thought that schools were requiring students to participate in an activity at least 30 minutes a day? When I was in school, gym was a requirement. I agree that it should be mandatory. However, if children are not taught at home that activity is fun, they will view this activity requirement as a "prison sentence". I speak from experience. Yes, parents and communities need to do more to encourage activity to children. It would help if the HHS would set guidelines as parents need help in this area since they are bombarded with so much information regarding nutrition, even for themselves.

And another MNB user echoed this comment:

Why is it the school’s responsibility to ensure students get proper nutrition and exercise?

We think that schools are responsible for helping kids learn – not just about reading, writing and arithmetic, but also about how to think, how to make intelligent choices, and how to take care of themselves.

Now, the important word here is “help.” They shouldn’t be doing it in a vacuum. Parents clearly should be taking the lead role in a child’s education…but the schools have to play a role as well.

By the way, it is our understanding that there are schools in this country where gym is not a required class, and the 30-minutes-a-day suggestion is a lot more than most kids get in a structured environment.

We had a piece yesterday about marketing to the “echo boomers” and how they respond to the work environment that generated a number of emails…

One MNB user wrote:

Last year I attended a presentation by a Human Resources Director at an international corporation. She mentioned some interesting traits about GenYers in addition to coddled and ego-centric: team-spirited, community-focused, global awareness and propensity to organize.

In her opinion, a good way to appeal to their specific needs and yearnings is to respect that they have been savvy consumers for a long time, fully disclose as much information as possible to them and give them an opportunity for input in decision-making, support community involvement and "green" issues, keep technology innovative, and be willing to design customized career paths and assign mentors.

However, one MNB user believed that these kids have been done a disservice:

There are two places in our society causing this problem.

#1 The family that gives every thing to their children. Doesn't require any kind of work . They participate in sports that don't even keep score because to be part of a team that loses will "cause trauma" to the child.

#2 There are a lot of schools in this country that have never given a student a failing grade. They don't discipline the student because they would probably be sued by the parents for trauma caused to the child. The schools don't even attempt to teach discipline or ethics. Neither do the parents, so where is the child to learn how important these traits are to success in the real world.

Based on what educators teach today all of us that completed school before about 1960 should be crazy.
KC's View: