Word Count 1127
Choosing easy over healthy
Dear Melissa Pementel, I wanted to address a problem I have come across. In district 204, adolescents are choosing convenience over health and have not learned about the proper serving sizes or how to have a healthier meal. As the food director of district 204 for public Chicago schools, you were the first person that would seem fit to help solve this problem. The solution I have for this problem is very simple, it is to educated all middle and high schoolers in their health classes and to educate them with hands on learning in the cafeterias. I wanted to see how much college kids new about what they were eating. I began to realize how much of adolescents do not realize what is in their connivance foods when taking a survey I conducted. I asked 50 college aged kids a couple questions about what they believe in a Hot Pocket. Nine eight percent of those adolescents guessed wrong when asked about how many calories are in one serving. Most guessed around 300 to 450. However in a shocking discovery, the answer is 600. The next question was about how many servings are in a Hot Pocket. Most college students said one. The correct answer is that there are actually two servings, therefor adding up to 1,200 calories per Hot Pocket. In Moss she explains what exactly is in a Hot Pocket and says, “contained over 100 ingredients, including salt, sugar, and fat in several configurations along with six permutations od cheese, from ‘imitation mozzarella’ to ‘imitation cheddar’. A single, eight calzone delivered 10 grams of saturated fat and 1,500 milligrams of sodium- close to my daily limit and nearly six teaspoons of sugar, 600 calories and for retailers convince, enough preservatives for a self life of 420 days” (Moss 335). This shows how unhealthy a Hot Pocket can be, and how unaware college kids are to this. Teens want to eat something convenient and no hassle and a Hot Pocket is exactly what that is. The problem is that almost all of the people, who answered my survey, did not realize how unhealthy Hot Pockets can truly be. The next problem is that teens are not educated well enough to pick out what is healthy and what is unhealthy. That is why a part of the solution involves health class. I want to implement more information on reading ingredients and serving sizes in classes. This is very simple because in both middle school and high school, it’s a requirement for each student to take a semester of health class. Using that resource, it can easily be worked into the curriculum. Firstly, the teachers need to show examples of labels and have students pick out how many calories per serving there is and how much the bag holds. For example, a Gatorade has 80 calories per serving, but the standard bottle holds 2 servings. In the health class, teachers can show student’s foods or drinks that try to trick you, so the students can learn and observe. The next part of the problem is often both kids and adults do not know how to make a proper meal, let alone having a healthy meal. I interviewed Lisa Gialamas, who has been a personal trainer for obese older men and women for the last 20 years. Some of her clients have been with her for over 10 years now. She explained to me that not only have her clients never been taught how to count the serving sizes, they have never been taught how to make a healthy meal. She goes on to say that the problem she notices the most is that they do not want the hassle in making a salad with all fresh veggies so they either overindulge in connivance foods or they simply eat to much and not realizing the serving size. Even though Lisa’s have been with her for 10 years and clients are well into there fifties and sixties, this is also exists in middle and high schoolers too.
The solution to this part of the problem can also be education. This education will not take place in the classroom though. It will