In a lot of competitive programs, on the first day of training the instructors will tell the candidates: look to your left, and then look to your right. Come graduation day, one of you won't be here.
Now imagine you're in an elementary school classroom. Ask the kids to all look to their left, then look to their right. One of those three will develop Type II diabetes, according to the CDC.
That's where FoodCorps is trying to make a difference. From their website:
FoodCorps responds to the needs of the current “obesity generation.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three children born in the year 2000 is on track to develop Type II diabetes. For minorities, the prediction worsens to one in two.
The program addresses this multi-faceted epidemic with a mechanism that, as philosopher Wendell Berry says, “solves for pattern.” The simple tool of a schoolyard garden positively addresses six of the eight contributing factors to obesity identified by the CDC. Gardens that engage children provide better food choices, encourage physical activity, reduce sedentary behavior, and lead to healthier environments at home, at school, and in the community.
Further, the CDC has singled out Farm to School as part of a community based solution to the obesity epidemic.
Building on the leadership of the White House Garden and the USDA People's Garden Initiative, the President's Task Force on Childhood Obesity, and model programs in states like Montana, Iowa and Wisconsin, FoodCorps will help bring healthy food infrastructure to the schools facing the most severe challenges of diet-related disease.
I can't get that number out of my head. One in three.
Think about your kids, and their closest friends, teammates, neighbors. How many is that? Now, pick one-third of them to get Type II diabetes.
And the worst part is, the kids aren't doing anything wrong. It is the adults in their lives who are failing them.
(Hat-tip to 5 Second Rule.)