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Letter: Revised school menus are absolutely needed

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This is in response to last week's school lunch article that focused primarily on many negative comments.

The River Falls Medical Clinic views the USDA breakfast and lunch guidelines as a positive step to encourage a change of behavior in students.

The reason for changing the school lunch menu was to combat the frightening reality that children are projected to live shorter and with a decreased quality of life compared to that of their parents.

We are encouraged that students have the opportunity to choose additional vegetables and fruits, instead of extra grains.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), "a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic diseases," including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer -- leading causes of death and disability in the United States.

Obesity is a major health concern that increases someone's risk of developing a chronic disease. One in every three adults is obese and almost one in five youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese.

According to the CDC, overall medical care costs related to obesity were estimated to be as high as $147 billion. People who were obese had medical costs that were $1,429 higher than the cost for people of normal body weight.

The CDC has identified four modifiable health risk behaviors that account for the common causes of chronic disease that include: Lack of physical activity; poor nutrition; tobacco use; and excessive alcohol consumption.

Prevention is the key to develop a healthier community. Changing the school lunch menu is a great place to begin behavior modification.

The earlier we begin modifications, the greater chance it has to become a lif

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