The Fight Against Childhood Obesity Just Got Some Serious New Foot Soldiers


FoodCorps, which started last week, is symbolic of just what we need: a national service program that aims to improve nutrition education for children, develop school gardening projects and change what’s being served on school lunch trays.

I’ve been looking forward to this for months, because it’s such an up: 50 new foot soldiers in the war against ignorance in food. The service members, most of them in their 20s, just went to work at 41 sites in 10 states, from Maine to Oregon and Michigan to Mississippi. (FoodCorps concentrates on communities with high rates of childhood obesity or limited access to healthy food, though these days every state has communities like that.)

I’d be even more elated if there were 50 FoodCorps members in each state. Or 5,000 in each, which approaches the number we’re going to need to educate our kids so they can look forward to a lifetime of good health and good eating. But FoodCorps is a model we can use to build upon.

(Read the rest of this article here.)

Posted in Food Politics


  1. Liz Snyder said...

    As a "foot soldier" in the good food movement – food that is good for the planet, people’s bodies, and the people who grow it – I want to see this be about so much more than childhood obesity. Good food nourishes all bodies- fat and thin. I’m very tired of the work being done to bring good food to all people being synonymous with the "fight against childhood obesity". Really, the fight isn’t about obesity at all. It’s about all children having a connection with food, eating well, and learning to love and use their bodies. Extra thinness will result for some kids, but not all. The lean child who eats nothing but cheetos and Coke is just as bad off as the fat one – and worse off than the naturally chubby kid who eats healthful food. Headlines like this just pander to the cult of professional dieting as a way to bring extra attention (and money) to the cause. Unfortunately, it also distorts the movement and serves to perpetuate a culture of body-shaming at younger and younger ages. Because in the world of "the fight" – everyone assumes it’s the chubby kid who’s the "problem" and no one asks the thin kid what he likes to eat. I had to do the "fight childhood obesity" dance for years to get funding for an 11-acre school farm – make it all about obesity, when it clearly is about so much more. You are under no such obligation! Liz

  2. Jan Katzen-Luchenta said...

    I couldn’t agree with your more, Liz. Although weight management is important for the child’s health and self esteem, nutrients and their vital role in child and brain development must be our first objective thus nutritional education. Once an individual understands where the components in food go to nourish the cell, they make smarter, intentional food choices. Feeding the brain is an insurance policy against neurological deficits that can impact a child’s life and future. I am also concerned that breakfast is not mentioned or snacks. Every meal needs to be nutrient replete and strategically fed so the child has glycemic stability. Balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day result in a balanced child; emotionally and physically.Jan Katzen-Luchentawww.nutritionforlearning.com

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