New Food Guide Doesn’t Address the Real Issue

It doesn’t matter what you tell people to eat if they can’t access it

Mark Mapoles, Contributor

When news came out that there was a newly updated food guide, there must have been some of us hoping it would be recommending a pizza or burger every evening. The new guide has been a long time coming and it’s nice to finally see it here – an updated version for an updated world. However, more needs to be done than just coming out with this new guide. Knowing what to eat hasn’t always been the issue. It’s been more about affording to eat the food that you know is healthy. Many Canadian families don’t have the money to be able to buy the recommended food set forth by the Canadian Food Guide. There’s no point in being told what to eat if people can’t afford it.

Health isn’t something that should be expensive – physical, mental or spiritual health. These are all things that kids shouldn’t have to go through life having to worry about. According to CBC News, “Research has revealed psychosocial and mood problems associated with poor childhood nutrition. Other studies have linked poor teenage diets to depression and suicidal thoughts and other chronic health problems.” Modern children are facing more mental health issues than previous generations because they’re not able to eat nutritious meals. Why are kids that are going through the toughest time of their lives also having to do it while unhealthy? They shouldn’t have to take on the responsibilities of the adults.

There are currently no plans for setting up a school meal program and educating kids on what they should eat. In fact, according to the CBC, “Today, Canada is the only G7 country that doesn’t have a national school food program.” This is what the government needs to focus on. Instead of telling people what they should be eating, show them. If kids were shown what to eat, through something like a school meal program, they wouldn’t need to go online and read the food guide. They would be more likely to grab a piece of broccoli instead of Cheetos the next time they want to snack. Kids would be able to have a healthy mind when learning in school and for after-school activities. They would be happier.

What we eat plays a huge role in how our mind operates. It’s amazing that they share such a strong connection, which can play a key role in life. Just like we put gas in our vehicles so they can function properly, we should be nourishing ourselves by putting healthy food in our stomachs so we too can function. The government should focus its attention on making these foods accessible instead of spending time coming out with guides telling people what they should eat.

Although this is a good first step for the government to help promote a healthier lifestyle, more needs to be done and on a much larger scale. It would be a shame if the reason people aren’t as happy as they can be is due to malnourishment. Life is too short to spend it floating in an unhealthy state when there is more that can be done. The government should do a better job of helping kids have a healthier upbringing so that we can invest in a brighter future.

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