School Phoolishness In Philadelphia

      128 Comments on School Phoolishness In Philadelphia

Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some carrots, E-I-E-I-O
With a … with a …

Well, there’s the problem:  we don’t know what noise carrots make.  If we’re going to turn fat kids into skinny kids by having them sing about carrots instead of pigs, we need to come up with a fun sound for carrots.  I’m open to suggestions on that one.

On the other hand, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely changing the lyrics to “Old Macdonald” is going to do diddly about childhood obesity, but apparently a school district in Philadelphia is giving it a shot, along with some other ridiculous initiatives:

The gym teacher, Beverly Griffin, teaches healthy eating using a toy model of the federal food pyramid and rewritten children’s songs. “And on his farm he had some carrots,” Tatyana, a first grader, belted out one recent morning, skipping around the gym with her classmates.

Ah, so that’s why the Food Pyramid has been such a colossal failure:  we forgot to produce toy models of it for the kids to play with.  A good toy trumps the biological need for quality protein and natural fats every time.

“Mrs. Griffin, I’m hungry!”

“You already had some whole-wheat toast with margarine and cup of skim milk, dear.”

“I know.  But I’m really, really hungry!”

“Well, uh … here, play with these plastic loaves of bread.  You’ll feel better.  And when you’re done, remember they belong on the base of the food pyramid.”

The Philly school is, of course, engaging in all this nonsense to bring itself into alignment with the federal government’s nonsense:

With 20 percent of the nation’s children obese, the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed new standards for federally subsidized school meals that call for more balanced meals and, for the first time, a limit on calories. The current standard specifies only a minimum calorie count, which some schools meet by adding sweet foods.

The Agriculture Department wants to change the content of federally subsidized school meals — 33 million lunches and 9 million breakfasts a day — by the fall of 2012. Beyond the calorie cap, the new standards would emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits and set tighter limits on sodium and fats.

Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the Philadelphia School District, said schools were meeting the new federal meal proposals by using more dark green and orange vegetables, as well as fruits, whole grains and legumes.

Great.  Awesome.  Fabulous.  So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.  I tried that type of diet back when I didn’t know any better, and all it did was make me hungrier.  An email I received today from a recent Fat Head viewer sums it up pretty well:

I had always wondered why eating a big bowl of Cheerios for breakfast at 7:30 left me starving by 10 am, while I could get by until 10:30 on nothing but a mug of tea.  Oatmeal has me jonesing for lunch by 11, while a cheese omelet sees me through dinner.  This morning I set aside my usual two slices of wheat toast with jam and ate two hardboiled eggs instead.  I feel rather awesome, not hungry at all.  And ALERT!

Well, heck, we don’t want schoolkids feeling satisfied and alert.  We want them so light-headed and hungry, they’ll happily run around singing songs about carrots.  Then when their blood sugar crashes because they didn’t eat enough fat to provide real fuel for their bodies, they’ll run out and grab the first sugary snacks they can find.

But no worries.  The school and some parents who don’t know any better are attempting to fix that problem with a new program called Hassling Local Businesses:

Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies.

“Candy!” said one of the parents, McKinley Harris, peering into a small bag one child carried out of the store. “That’s not food.”

The parents standing guard outside the Oxford Food Shop are foot soldiers in a national battle over the diets of children that has taken on new fervor.

Good grief.  Nothing like recruiting parents to act as Food Fascists in that national battle over the diets of children.  The vest-and-walkie-talkie brigade was apparently the brainchild of the school principal, who has decided convenience stores are part of the problem:

To match the efforts inside the school, one of Ms. Brown’s first acts as principal last August was to ask owners of nearby corner stores to stop selling to students in the morning.

Gladys Tejada, who owns the Oxford shop, said, “It’s a good thing, what they’re trying to do, but I can’t control who comes in.” Nor can she control what they buy. “They like it sweet,” she said. “They like it cheap.”

Bingo.  Ms. Tejada is running a store, not a diet center.  Unless she’s giving away snacks for free, the kids are spending money given to them by their parents.  It’s not Ms. Tejada’s job to be a substitute mommy and control what these kids eat.  That’s a job for their own parents.

If schools are prohibited from serving whole milk but allowed to serve chocolate skim milk, juice boxes, and peaches in syrup, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’re raising a generation of sugar addicts.  Convenience stores -– like all stores –- can only sell what people are willing to buy, as I pointed out in a recent post.  For some reason, do-gooders can’t seem to grasp this basic principle of economics … which explains programs like this:

Since 2001, a Philadelphia organization called Food Trust has worked to get corner stores to offer healthier foods, including fresh fruit, vegetables and water, as well as products with reduced sugar, salt and fat. But just 507 of the city’s estimated 2,500 corner stores have signed on.

So only about 20% of the stores signed on, hmm?  I wonder why the other 80% aren’t jumping in there and doing their part to battle childhood obesity by offering more fruits and vegetables?

Jetro Cash and Carry, which supplies many corner stores, joined the effort. But Jack Sagen, a Jetro sales and marketing director, said he recently lost $500 buying several dozen cases of 15-cent bags of sliced apples that perished before they could catch on with the stores.

Well, obviously the 15-cent price tag was a major deterrent for all those kids clamoring for apples.  Thank goodness the federal government is spending $400 million to make fruits and vegetables cheaper and more available in “under-served” urban areas.

But after several weeks of parent intervention, Ms. Brown said more children were skipping the corner stores, showing progress against the pull of sweet snacks.

I would of course love to see kids stop eating so many sweet snacks.  But I’ll bet you dollars to donuts (and you can keep the donuts) those kids are just finding the foods that feed their sugar addiction somewhere else.

“It does what they need it to do for that moment,” she said of the snacks. “It hits them in the stomach. They feel full. It’s cheap and fast.”

Here’s a crazy idea:  maybe those USDA-approved school breakfasts and lunches should include more protein and animal fats.  Then when the kids head home from school, they’ll already feel full.


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128 thoughts on “School Phoolishness In Philadelphia

  1. Andy

    Absolutely amazing. Government always knows best.

    On a side note, I’m partially majoring in nutrition and have just started into the coursework. You’d love it. Whole grains are great, keep saturated fat to less than 7% of your fat intake because it causes heart disease. Keep cholesterol at less than 200 mg a day. I’ve had to answer multiple questions incorrectly on purpose to provide the “right” answer.

    Well, get the degree and then you can tell your clients the truth later.

  2. Peggy Cihocki

    Unbelievable! Well, not really. Very sad, however. I’m a retired Middle School teacher. I was assigned to teach Health one year (6th grade) and, since I was more familiar with nutrition and Biology than all the social stuff I was supposed to teach and I thought it important, I spent most of my 5 week sessions trying to convince them that they should be eating plenty of natural fats and protein, and not be afraid of cholesterol. It was an uphill battle and somehow the following year I was “not qualified” to teach Health, despite B.A.s in Biology and Chemistry, a Masters in Biochemistry, and K-8 Gen. Ed. certification. I also supervised lunch for many years and had some interesting discussions with students about the “evils” of saturated fat. They just weren’t going to be convinced it not only wouldn’t kill them, but is actually good for them–because their parents said otherwise. And many of them were doctors, nurses, and scientists.

    Well, you tried. If it’s USDA vs. one teacher who knows better, the USDA will win.

  3. Rahul

    Um, if these commitees are run by concerned parents or some type of PTA groups, i don’t get why none of these groups ever point their finger at those USDA approved meals full of just sugar and starch, i mean don’t words like syrups, chocolate skim-milk or juice box (both of which my parents figured was unhealthy the minute they saw it had same amount of sugar as normal chocolate milk and way more sugar than having a fruit on its own lol) I mean i could forgive them for not attacking the carbs as before i saw ur video even i was quite brainwashed on the idea that carbs like bread and rice are healthy in moderation(moderation=3meals a day with them in it lol). But even before knowing about the reality of nutrition many of us figure out that fruit juice, those fruit bars/roll-ups, chocolate milk or even any fruit syrups wud be fattening and unhealthy. I think in these towns certain ppl just assume anything is healthy as long as the words fruit and low-fat is tagged to food item lol hmmm LOW-FAT Snickers bar VERY HEALTHY 😛

    Well, when we’ve got an American Heart Association that puts its seal of approval on boxes of Cocoa Puffs, I guess it figures.

  4. Andy

    Absolutely amazing. Government always knows best.

    On a side note, I’m partially majoring in nutrition and have just started into the coursework. You’d love it. Whole grains are great, keep saturated fat to less than 7% of your fat intake because it causes heart disease. Keep cholesterol at less than 200 mg a day. I’ve had to answer multiple questions incorrectly on purpose to provide the “right” answer.

    Well, get the degree and then you can tell your clients the truth later.

  5. Peggy Cihocki

    Unbelievable! Well, not really. Very sad, however. I’m a retired Middle School teacher. I was assigned to teach Health one year (6th grade) and, since I was more familiar with nutrition and Biology than all the social stuff I was supposed to teach and I thought it important, I spent most of my 5 week sessions trying to convince them that they should be eating plenty of natural fats and protein, and not be afraid of cholesterol. It was an uphill battle and somehow the following year I was “not qualified” to teach Health, despite B.A.s in Biology and Chemistry, a Masters in Biochemistry, and K-8 Gen. Ed. certification. I also supervised lunch for many years and had some interesting discussions with students about the “evils” of saturated fat. They just weren’t going to be convinced it not only wouldn’t kill them, but is actually good for them–because their parents said otherwise. And many of them were doctors, nurses, and scientists.

    Well, you tried. If it’s USDA vs. one teacher who knows better, the USDA will win.

  6. Walter

    I was going to post the link to this article, but I see you already found it. Thought you’d want to blog about it, from both a nutrition and libertarian perspective.

    Keep making your points, you are making a difference.

  7. Rahul

    Um, if these commitees are run by concerned parents or some type of PTA groups, i don’t get why none of these groups ever point their finger at those USDA approved meals full of just sugar and starch, i mean don’t words like syrups, chocolate skim-milk or juice box (both of which my parents figured was unhealthy the minute they saw it had same amount of sugar as normal chocolate milk and way more sugar than having a fruit on its own lol) I mean i could forgive them for not attacking the carbs as before i saw ur video even i was quite brainwashed on the idea that carbs like bread and rice are healthy in moderation(moderation=3meals a day with them in it lol). But even before knowing about the reality of nutrition many of us figure out that fruit juice, those fruit bars/roll-ups, chocolate milk or even any fruit syrups wud be fattening and unhealthy. I think in these towns certain ppl just assume anything is healthy as long as the words fruit and low-fat is tagged to food item lol hmmm LOW-FAT Snickers bar VERY HEALTHY 😛

    Well, when we’ve got an American Heart Association that puts its seal of approval on boxes of Cocoa Puffs, I guess it figures.

  8. Michelle

    Wow, this is shocking. I had no idea this kind of stuff was going on. Rewriting nursery rhymes to brainwash kids into eating carrots? And meddling to the point of destroying local business? And they think this is GOOD for America?

    Part of the “progressive” mind-set … we know what’s best for you, but you don’t.

  9. Laurie

    “Doctors say Gastric Bypass Surgery may reverse Type 2 Diabetes”

    Headline I saw this morning. SHEESH

    Double leg amputation may reverse abillity to go out jogging.

  10. Auntie M

    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
    1. Those do-gooder parents are interfering where they don’t belong.
    2. I hate what the schools serve the kids. They can’t pay attention and learn if they’re full of sugar!
    3. I try to talk to students about this in my classroom, but get the same stuff that Peggy said above. As a history teacher, I try to get them to think critically (when I can shoehorn it in with the other ten thousand things I’m required to teach). All I hear is parroting of their parents. They are starving their brains!!
    4. I need to homeschool my future children.

    Our girls attend a public school, but my daughter came home with nutrition guidelines handed out in school and said, “Look, Dad. This is just plain wrong!” The sooner she realizes not everything they tell her in school is true, the better.

  11. Jan

    Well, Tom, look at it this way – after the USDA ramps up the “whole grains, fruits and vegetables” and cuts even more fat and protein from all those school breakfasts and lunches, we’ll be able to cure the Type II diabetes so many of those kids will develop with gastric bypass surgery, according to the head of the center for bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Which should, incidentally, also be funded by the federal government – Good Morning America said so just today.

    There you go … perfect synergy among branches of government.

  12. Steven Low

    It’s really hilariously bad. People are so convinced that something is horrible for them, but they can’t explain why whether they are doctors, nurses, health educators, or whatever.

    Epidemiologically there’s no convincing evidence for saturated fat causes heart disease yet the idea persists.

    For example, mayo clinics main site obviously says sat fats are horrible yet they have studies like these just never see the light of day.

    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/content/78/11/1331.full.pdf

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  13. Walter

    I was going to post the link to this article, but I see you already found it. Thought you’d want to blog about it, from both a nutrition and libertarian perspective.

    Keep making your points, you are making a difference.

  14. GrapeNut

    I just watched Fat Head, and I agree with about 50% of it. But, you just cannot convince me that a breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and whole milk is healthier than my Grape Nuts, banana, and soy milk.

    Also, it is flat out dead wrong that humans were taller, were healthier, and lived longer back before we became an agrarian society and started expanding our diet beyond animal proteins and fats. That’s simply not true, where on earth did you get that data? Humans are on average growing taller and living longer than at any time in human history.

    As for agribusiness lobbying government agencies to tell us basically “Animal Lard and cholesterol are bad, Canola Oil and Soy are good” because canola and soy are sold as commodities completely ignores the fact pork bellies and meat are traded as commodities too. This implies that there is no lobby for the beef industry and that they hold no sway over Federal agencies. That is absurd.

    I totally agree on the refined sugars and starch analysis, but I think bashing whole grains/brown rice and other complex carb food sources is dead wrong, and dangerous. We need fiber too, you can’t have a serious documentary about food without even mentioning fiber.

    Paleolithic humans were as tall as humans today. After the advent of agriculture (which is where what we think of as “history” begins in most schools), we shrank about six inches, then slowly regained our height over the next several thousand years. We also became far more prone to infectious diseases. You can look up works by anthropologist Jared Diamond if you want to confirm that for yourself.

    Since you already informed me you’re closed-minded about the health benefits of your Grape-Nuts, banana and soy-milk breakfast, I won’t waste my typing fingers telling you otherwise. Enjoy.

  15. Nick S

    It seems like most people just make guesses about what’s bad for their kids, and tend to guess wrong… canned peaches in syrup are a perfect example of a food that people “guess” is healthy, but obviously that’s a bad guess.

    I think communities should host sessions to teach people how to look critically at food, and to get past notions like “fruit is always good for you,” instead getting down to the facts… not guesses. A lot of people would feel pretty stupid if they sat down and actually looked at the macronutrients their children are eating.

    That’s what we hope to do with a book directed at parents and kids.

  16. Michelle

    Wow, this is shocking. I had no idea this kind of stuff was going on. Rewriting nursery rhymes to brainwash kids into eating carrots? And meddling to the point of destroying local business? And they think this is GOOD for America?

    Part of the “progressive” mind-set … we know what’s best for you, but you don’t.

  17. Laurie

    “Doctors say Gastric Bypass Surgery may reverse Type 2 Diabetes”

    Headline I saw this morning. SHEESH

    Double leg amputation may reverse abillity to go out jogging.

  18. Lori

    So, if any hungry kids out there are reading this, may I recommend picking up a can of tuna, some string cheese, some nuts (not the sugar-coated kind) or a can of sardines. The sardines are an acquired taste, but they’re really filling, very nutritious and only around a buck or two a can. If I had to go until late afternoon without food, that would be my choice for breakfast. Just don’t forget the fork.

    And tell the busybodies I said to get bent.

    My girls acquired that taste. They like sardines.

  19. Auntie M

    AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
    1. Those do-gooder parents are interfering where they don’t belong.
    2. I hate what the schools serve the kids. They can’t pay attention and learn if they’re full of sugar!
    3. I try to talk to students about this in my classroom, but get the same stuff that Peggy said above. As a history teacher, I try to get them to think critically (when I can shoehorn it in with the other ten thousand things I’m required to teach). All I hear is parroting of their parents. They are starving their brains!!
    4. I need to homeschool my future children.

    Our girls attend a public school, but my daughter came home with nutrition guidelines handed out in school and said, “Look, Dad. This is just plain wrong!” The sooner she realizes not everything they tell her in school is true, the better.

  20. Jan

    Well, Tom, look at it this way – after the USDA ramps up the “whole grains, fruits and vegetables” and cuts even more fat and protein from all those school breakfasts and lunches, we’ll be able to cure the Type II diabetes so many of those kids will develop with gastric bypass surgery, according to the head of the center for bariatric surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Which should, incidentally, also be funded by the federal government – Good Morning America said so just today.

    There you go … perfect synergy among branches of government.

  21. Steven Low

    It’s really hilariously bad. People are so convinced that something is horrible for them, but they can’t explain why whether they are doctors, nurses, health educators, or whatever.

    Epidemiologically there’s no convincing evidence for saturated fat causes heart disease yet the idea persists.

    For example, mayo clinics main site obviously says sat fats are horrible yet they have studies like these just never see the light of day.

    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com/content/78/11/1331.full.pdf

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  22. Jerica Michael

    It’s things like this that almost convince me to go into the Navy to argue with the teachers about what raises my mum’s blood sugar. XP Unfortunately, though, I love learning foreign languages far to much to give up the idea of going into intel with the Marine Corps.

  23. Mark. Gooley

    Whole grains. A few years ago I tried replacing pasta and rice with nutritious, delicious whole grains, usually rye or wheat berries cooked more or less like rice. I’m a type I diabetic, on insulin then for thirty-five years. I thought that the rye especially, high in protein for a grain and chock-full of dietary fiber, wouldn’t spike my blood sugar the way pasta does. It didn’t quite — but it was a near thing. The blood sugar spike was slightly delayed and usually just under 300 rather than just over, but it didn’t really make a difference. Now I have chorizo and eggs for breakfast and fatty pork or beef for dinner. Maybe I shouldn’t skip lunch but I barely miss it.

    Geese and ducks raised for foie gras get whole grains too, don’t they? I don’t think that American kids, and increasingly kids elsewhere, are being fattened especially for space-alien gourmets to enjoy as food, but I fear that the effect might be similar.

    Grains shoot my glucose into the stratosphere as well, no matter what the Glycemic Index says.

  24. GrapeNut

    I just watched Fat Head, and I agree with about 50% of it. But, you just cannot convince me that a breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and whole milk is healthier than my Grape Nuts, banana, and soy milk.

    Also, it is flat out dead wrong that humans were taller, were healthier, and lived longer back before we became an agrarian society and started expanding our diet beyond animal proteins and fats. That’s simply not true, where on earth did you get that data? Humans are on average growing taller and living longer than at any time in human history.

    As for agribusiness lobbying government agencies to tell us basically “Animal Lard and cholesterol are bad, Canola Oil and Soy are good” because canola and soy are sold as commodities completely ignores the fact pork bellies and meat are traded as commodities too. This implies that there is no lobby for the beef industry and that they hold no sway over Federal agencies. That is absurd.

    I totally agree on the refined sugars and starch analysis, but I think bashing whole grains/brown rice and other complex carb food sources is dead wrong, and dangerous. We need fiber too, you can’t have a serious documentary about food without even mentioning fiber.

    Paleolithic humans were as tall as humans today. After the advent of agriculture (which is where what we think of as “history” begins in most schools), we shrank about six inches, then slowly regained our height over the next several thousand years. We also became far more prone to infectious diseases. You can look up works by anthropologist Jared Diamond if you want to confirm that for yourself.

    Since you already informed me you’re closed-minded about the health benefits of your Grape-Nuts, banana and soy-milk breakfast, I won’t waste my typing fingers telling you otherwise. Enjoy.

  25. Nick S

    It seems like most people just make guesses about what’s bad for their kids, and tend to guess wrong… canned peaches in syrup are a perfect example of a food that people “guess” is healthy, but obviously that’s a bad guess.

    I think communities should host sessions to teach people how to look critically at food, and to get past notions like “fruit is always good for you,” instead getting down to the facts… not guesses. A lot of people would feel pretty stupid if they sat down and actually looked at the macronutrients their children are eating.

    That’s what we hope to do with a book directed at parents and kids.

  26. Nick S

    @Andy: If/once you’re into higher levels of coursework, challenge that stuff! Do papers on how poorly supported those conclusions are. Learn your stats cold, pull together a meta-analysis of the research, and rock the nutrition world. It’s absolutely possible.

    Believe it or not, a lot of change in academic paradigms start with (usually graduate) students who come out swinging against bad science that everyone else has just accepted.

  27. Jane M

    I forget how I found Stephanie Seneff: http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/
    She has some awesome articles including one about ADHD and lack of dietary fat. Small wonder we have a problem. It’s very, very sad that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    She has some excellent articles online.

  28. Lori

    So, if any hungry kids out there are reading this, may I recommend picking up a can of tuna, some string cheese, some nuts (not the sugar-coated kind) or a can of sardines. The sardines are an acquired taste, but they’re really filling, very nutritious and only around a buck or two a can. If I had to go until late afternoon without food, that would be my choice for breakfast. Just don’t forget the fork.

    And tell the busybodies I said to get bent.

    My girls acquired that taste. They like sardines.

  29. Be

    Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
    And on his farm he had a Grapenut, E-I-E-I-O
    With a “I’m full of Sh*t here, Full of Sh*there, E-I-E-I-O

    Ask Yul Gibbons about being a constipated overrated loser!

  30. Mung Sprout Cheese

    “Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.”

    Veggies, veggies and more veggies are the answer!

    Me and my entire family have been raw vegan (no cooked foods, only sprouted grains when we have them at all) and its the best and most energetic food regimen ever!

    Everything you eat cooked you can eat raw and it tastes even better!

    Raw veggies, seeds, nuts, and marine phytoplanktons for the win if you want a healthy body and alert mind!

    Good luck with that.

  31. Sierra

    I remember that in high school I only ate school lunch about once a week. I felt just as hungry at the end of the school day when I didn’t eat lunch as when I did, so I kept the extra $1.50 as pocket money…. Completely worthless.

    I do wonder if I was slowing my metabolism by not eating until 3:30 or so everyday. A 19 hour fast 4 days a week shouldn’t be good… Right?

    If you eat to satiety during your infrequent meals, you’ll be fine. Intermittent fasting (which is what you were doing) appears to provide some metabolic and hormonal benefits. It’s long-term semi-starvation that slows your metabolism.

  32. Jerica Michael

    It’s things like this that almost convince me to go into the Navy to argue with the teachers about what raises my mum’s blood sugar. XP Unfortunately, though, I love learning foreign languages far to much to give up the idea of going into intel with the Marine Corps.

  33. Mark. Gooley

    Whole grains. A few years ago I tried replacing pasta and rice with nutritious, delicious whole grains, usually rye or wheat berries cooked more or less like rice. I’m a type I diabetic, on insulin then for thirty-five years. I thought that the rye especially, high in protein for a grain and chock-full of dietary fiber, wouldn’t spike my blood sugar the way pasta does. It didn’t quite — but it was a near thing. The blood sugar spike was slightly delayed and usually just under 300 rather than just over, but it didn’t really make a difference. Now I have chorizo and eggs for breakfast and fatty pork or beef for dinner. Maybe I shouldn’t skip lunch but I barely miss it.

    Geese and ducks raised for foie gras get whole grains too, don’t they? I don’t think that American kids, and increasingly kids elsewhere, are being fattened especially for space-alien gourmets to enjoy as food, but I fear that the effect might be similar.

    Grains shoot my glucose into the stratosphere as well, no matter what the Glycemic Index says.

  34. Rich

    I cannot eat the breakfast that GrapeNut recommends in the earlier reply. I suspect it would shoot my blood sugar level up to 200. My goal is too keep it under 140 one hour after eating a meal. The problem is that Grapenuts cereal and bananas both have very high glycemic index numbers. As a matter of fact, according to the chart at diabetesnet.com, the GI for Grapenuts is higher than both table sugar and Sugar Frosted Flakes. Yikes.

    The GrapeNut breakfast also packs a very high carb load at 76 grams. I like to keep my carbs under 35 grams per meal or I will get into trouble with my blood sugar.

    The soy milk appears to be okay. However, why not drink the real stuff from a cow? It tastes better.

    I ate Grape Nuts back when I was a fat vegetarian.

  35. Jane M

    I forget how I found Stephanie Seneff: http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/
    She has some awesome articles including one about ADHD and lack of dietary fat. Small wonder we have a problem. It’s very, very sad that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    She has some excellent articles online.

  36. Ryan

    Ive been following your blog for quite some time now, and also looked through all the archives. I find it very informative and a great source of information for somebody like me who is fairly new to nutrition and has trouble fully understanding most books like Good Calories Bad Calories, Protein Power etc. Anyways just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading the blog and I hope you keep it up. FAT HEAD was awesome and this principle of the school in Philly is nuts for going to the corner store asking to stop selling candy to kids before school, in my opinion.

    Thank you.

  37. Be

    Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
    And on his farm he had a Grapenut, E-I-E-I-O
    With a “I’m full of Sh*t here, Full of Sh*there, E-I-E-I-O

    Ask Yul Gibbons about being a constipated overrated loser!

  38. Phil Garnett

    I wasn’t hungry until lunch today so I didn’t eat until then. Ate Chipotle bowl with minimal rice and plenty of beans,meats and cheese. 3 hours later I walked by the chocolate basket at my office and was never tempted to have one. I wasn’t hungry!!! Cant wait for my steamed brocolli and califlower smothered in butter with 2 or 3 fillets of grilled Tilapia for dinner. Stomach getting flatter by the day and I feel great and full of energy. Good bye buns, tortillas and sub way bread! I ate a foot long subway turkey yesterday … no bread.

  39. Katie

    The public schools are all about social engineering. They do not teach children to think for themselves. My 8th grader brought home a survey asking a variety of nosy questions including: Do you eat dinner in front of the t.v.?

    In addition the students were required to make a pie chart of how they spent their time after school, including bathroom time for evaluation. When I protested and asked for an alternative assignment my son was sent to the library as punishment (could have been worse). And one of the teachers and the school counselor called me. I ended up hanging up on the teacher after she screamed at me. I suggested to the counselor that the pie graph be made of the hours spent in school as I would be interested in evaluating that! She didn’t appreciate my suggestion.

    My children came home for their education after that and I have no regrets. They are adults now and independent, happy and know how to think.

    Yikes. We haven’t had to deal with that one yet.

  40. tracker

    So, the parents standing guard at the corner store are doing what? Are they stopping the children from going in? Are they confiscating what they bought? If not, then what is the purpose of them standing there? WTH? If it were my kid and I told them they could go to the store and buy something, and some other parent stopped them, I’d be madder than hell. Why can’t people mind their own damned business. If people want to feed their kids junk, let them. The government is already in the business of telling them to feed their kids junk food anyway, because that’s exactly what whole wheat bread, skim milk and juice are. Junk food. You might as well have a Snicker’s bar. Same difference.

    My sentiments exactly. I’ll teach my kids how to eat. If some other parent gets in my daughter’s face about what she eats, we’ll have real problems.

  41. Mung Sprout Cheese

    “Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.”

    Veggies, veggies and more veggies are the answer!

    Me and my entire family have been raw vegan (no cooked foods, only sprouted grains when we have them at all) and its the best and most energetic food regimen ever!

    Everything you eat cooked you can eat raw and it tastes even better!

    Raw veggies, seeds, nuts, and marine phytoplanktons for the win if you want a healthy body and alert mind!

    Good luck with that.

  42. Keith

    @Rich, March 29 4:28pm:

    Soy products probably are not okay. They contain a lot of compounds with hormone-like activity in the body (actually, if I remember correctly, estrogen-like activity), which disrupts the body’s normal hormonal signaling.

    That’s why I’ll legumes now and then, but not soybeans. And I sure as heck won’t drink soy milk.

  43. Sierra

    I remember that in high school I only ate school lunch about once a week. I felt just as hungry at the end of the school day when I didn’t eat lunch as when I did, so I kept the extra $1.50 as pocket money…. Completely worthless.

    I do wonder if I was slowing my metabolism by not eating until 3:30 or so everyday. A 19 hour fast 4 days a week shouldn’t be good… Right?

    If you eat to satiety during your infrequent meals, you’ll be fine. Intermittent fasting (which is what you were doing) appears to provide some metabolic and hormonal benefits. It’s long-term semi-starvation that slows your metabolism.

  44. Mung Sprout Cheese

    Soy is not healthy. One can make a delicious homemade almond milk at home in a matter of minutes. There is also coconut milk and coconut milk yogurt to go with Grape Nuts for those who like to eat cereal like that.

    Soy was pushed as a “health food” by Big Farma.

    Its not. At least not the genetically modified soy made here in the USA by Monsanto.

  45. Mung Sprout Cheese

    @ Mark Gooley, you might try going gluten free. Rye and wheat berries are not neccessarily “good for you”.

    Try quinoa, amaranth and even wild (black) rice.

    Sprouted mung often fulfills that “grain or carb craving” too and its a protein.

  46. Misty

    Sigh. the USDA only have farmers on their minds, and the best way to help them. I used to be on the ban wagon of low fat dieting. for a year and a half i was on that diet, and i didn’t loose a pound, i got up at 4am and worked out for up to 2 hours, as long as the kids stayed in bed. I was sick all the time, and felt horrible. I was going to go back to school and be a nutritionist. and how was I going to do that when I, so the BMI says, was over wight! Watching your movie has changed my mind on food. and hopefully i can make a difference in the nutrition world!
    My daughter has a horrible time paying attention, and I don’t want to medicate her, and since changing her diet, it has helped, not a super big change but enough to have my convinced. especial the days when my morning sickness hits me so hard that I really don’t want to cook and give her cereal, I notice the difference. I now pre make breakfast.
    again thanks for doing all this. I have read a few books and can’t believe the crap we’ve been fed over the years. Have you seen the food WIC recommends? carbs carbs and more carbs. I have been on the program before and it’s full of all the crap USDA says we should eat. No wonder low income families are hit the hardest.

    There’s a revolving door between the USDA and the executive suites at some of the big agra corporations. They should just merge and be done with it.

  47. tracker

    @GrapeNut,

    Where did he get that data? Where did you get your preconceived notions? All you have to do is search for any article about paleolithic stature, and you will see that their height was comparable to ours.

    It’s mentioned in this article here:
    “The diets of Neolithic farmers were of much poorer quality than Late Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and this has been implicated in the overall decline in health during the Neolithic period (for overview see [19]). For example, average height of a male Late Neolithic farmer was 161 cm, a full *16 cm shorter* than a male Late Paleolithic hunter-gatherer…” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WN2-4BYNP75-1/2/94ba770478a5f44bb9f4df44c1cd6984

    You might want to read that article. If you don’t have access to Science Direct, you can go to your local public library and get it. Why? Because that article is about Alzheimer’s Disease and how it is linked to a high carbohydrate diet. I wouldn’t want my worst enemy, or some stupid troll on the internet even, to have such a terrible disease.

    Oh, and BTW, an interesting thing I learned when I had archaeology in college, over a decade ago now, is that paleolithic people did NOT have dental caries. I remember thinking, how is that possible? They didn’t brush their teeth! It’s because they didn’t eat grains or sugar.

  48. Gabrielle

    It’s actually pretty amazing how much changing a small part of your diet can do. If parents fed their kids the right breakfast in the morning, i’m pretty sure it would produce a domino effect on the kids’ other meals. I just recently (just watched Fat Head a couple weeks ago, so REALLY recently) started eating a lot more meat and animal fats (especially paying attention to breakfast, having 5 boxes of cereal in the pantry and eaten none of them in 2 weeks now) and started limiting breads and stuff like that shortly afterward. An entire cake and half a pie went bad as a result – not to mention a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses has been sitting untouched for over a week. I just don’t have any interest at all in it anymore, and have been eating far less throughout the day… instead, i’m craving strawberries in cream and greek yogurt for my sweets. Haha… my boyfriend even tried to take me for cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory – i love that place – and i said NO!! I did cave in at Cold Stone, though, but for plain ice cream with a bunch of fruit in it…

    I’m sure these kids will do the same thing once they’re started down the right path. But parents will need to actually step up and do their jobs rather than waiting for the government or corner stores to do it for them!

    Exactly. A satisfying breakfast with protein and fat keeps the appetite in check. Giving kids carbs and skim milk for breakfast is only going to ramp up their desire for more carbs.

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