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Author Topic: Are school lunches a national security threat?  (Read 2380 times)
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« on: April 20, 2010, 02:10:00 PM »

By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press Writer Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer
 
WASHINGTON – School lunches have been called many things, but a group of retired military officers is giving them a new label: national security threat.

That's not a reference to the mystery meat served up in the cafeteria line either. The retired officers are saying that school lunches have helped make the nation's young people so fat that fewer of them can meet the military's physical fitness standards, and recruitment is in jeopardy.

A new report being released Tuesday says more than 9 million young adults, or 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24, are too overweight to join the military. Now, the officers are advocating for passage of a wide-ranging nutrition bill that aims to make the nation's school lunches healthier.

The officers' group, Mission: Readiness, was appearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday with Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The military group acknowledges that other things keep young adults out of the armed services, such as a criminal record or the lack of a high school diploma. But weight problems that have worsened over the past 15 years are now the leading medical reason that recruits are rejected.

Although all branches of the military now meet or exceed recruitment goals, retired Navy Rear Adm. James Barnett Jr., a member of the officers group, says the obesity trend could affect that.

"When over a quarter of young adults are too fat to fight, we need to take notice," Barnett said. He noted that national security in the year 2030 is "absolutely dependent" on reversing child obesity rates.

Recruitment isn't the only problem posed by obesity. According to the report, the government spends tens of millions of dollars every year to train replacements for service members discharged because of weight problems.

This isn't the first time the military has gotten involved in the debate over school lunches. During World War II, military leaders had the opposite problem, reporting that many recruits were rejected because of stunted growth and inadequate nutrition. After the war, military leaders pushed Congress to establish the national school lunch program so children would grow up healthier.

The program was established in 1946, "as a measure of national security," according to the original bill language.

Today, the group is urging Congress to eliminate junk food and high-calorie beverages from schools, put more money into the school lunch program and develop new strategies that help children develop healthier habits.

The school lunch bill, currently awaiting a Senate vote, would establish healthier options for all foods in schools, including vending machine items. The legislation would spend $4.5 billion more over 10 years for nutrition programs.

The Army is already doing its part to catch the problem earlier, working with high schoolers and interested recruits to lose weight before they are eligible for service, says U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Mark Howell. He added that he had to lose 10 pounds himself before he joined the military.

"This is the future of our Army we are looking at when we talk about these 17- to 24-year-olds," Howell said. "The sad thing is a lot of them want to join but can't."


Source: Yahoo!News
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 10:13:44 PM »

Hahaha, is this for real?
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 04:47:30 AM »

Kevin,

It's real.  The "food Nazis" have been on the horizon for a long time as a joke.  It is just the newest way to try and control the US citizen's diet and thereby make more food available for the world's poor starving people (a leftist goal here).  Remember the US uses too much of the world's resources and that includes food to the one worlders and the left in general.  Yes, first attack school lunches, when that doesn't work attack vending machines and store purchases (special taxes on junk food - already happening in some places), and when that works controls on the food available or that you can buy.  The same approach used on cigarettes, which are a hazard although perhaps less of one than most believe (another time for that - a statistics professor years ago used the first surgeon general's report on cigarettes to show how not to use statistics).  It is interesting that the same crowd (not the military one listed) wants to legalize marijuana, which reduces drive and concern, could there be a relationship, i.e. keep the population high and happy while the elites run the world and eliminate the 95% of the population that several "elite groups" say are too many for the planet?

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 08:35:21 AM »

Marijuana is another contributing factor to the U.S. military establishment's problem of new recruits being unfit for basic training. In addition to the military's finding that a general lack of activity comes from the playing video games they have surely found that consumption of marijuana is a major contributing factor in lack of physical activity for todays youths.  As you may know I enjoy playing video games myself, I have a Playstation 3 and I enjoy playing different types of games, my current favorite is the Call of Duty (CoD) first person shooter series.

Before playing CoD (or any game) online one must make up an online identity, Playstation Network calls it a "Handle" and XBOX Live calls it a "Gamertag", ie. mine is "WARGASMATRON", but kids get pretty creative with these,  here is where it gets interesting, there is a very large percentage of these online names that are, or contain direct references to marijuana, in addition Call of Duty allows players to have a "Clan Tag" this is an up to four character combination of numbers, letters, symbols, the purpose of which is to allow friends to join in matches as a team for team based competitive gaming, so even kids whose parents monitor their online name when they create it, are still able to reference to the drug via their clan tag which appears in brackets before their online name ie. [WEED]WARGASMATRON, [DOPE], [POT], [420] are some other examples with 420 being a universal code for smoking weed, 420 is in more online names than one could count.

This is only the beggining, the amount of verbal reference to marijuana and other drugs via Bluetooth supported chatting that takes place during gaming is astounding, the live audio chat allows team members to communicate during game play, which is an advantage for military gaming. But kids are coughing, choking, smoking from water bongs etc. as well as directly referencing to the drug as well as setting up deals with friends who live in the same local area. So kids are not only sitting around playing games they are getting stoned while they are gaming which can only lead to even less physical activity and overeating.

School lunches, it seems, is the very least of the problems facing the military as the prospects of new recruits gets worse.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 08:42:40 AM by Evil Nine » Logged

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"Although our naval and air power are immense, there comes a time when power alone has reached it's limit, and men must pay for yardage with their lives" 

Robert Sherrod Time/Life Combat Reporter WWII
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 08:57:02 AM »

All, here is an article referencing the rampant verbal abuse that takes place in online gaming communities, this article deals mainly with racist and hate speach, but it is a good example of how kids act when their parents don't monitor them and they are afforded the level of anonimity that cyberspace provides, the reference to drugs in these online communities is every bit as prevelant as hate speach.

Article:

Hate speech corrodes online games

SPOKANE, Wash. — It's not just cyberbullets that are exchanged during firefights on the XBox Live version of "Call of Duty."

Many gamers also exchange hate speech over their headsets as they stalk each other across the virtual battlefields. Players trade racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic insults so frequently that game makers are taking steps to tone down the rhetoric.

The comments would shock parents who may not realize their children are constantly exposed to language that might make a sailor blush. Most parental concerns have focused on violence, not language.

One gamer told an opponent he presumed to be Jewish that he wished Hitler had succeeded in his mission. Many exchanges involve talk of rape or exult over the atomic bombing of Japan. There are frequent slurs on homosexuals, Asians, Hispanics and women.

Such comments can be heard on all online video gaming systems, including PlayStation Network, Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft) and others.

"Personally, I don't do a lot of online gaming for that reason," said Flynn DeMarco, founder of the Web site GayGamer.net, which has worked with Microsoft and other companies on steps to clean up online gaming. "I don't play with anybody I don't already know."

DeMarco said hate speech has been a problem for years. Game makers, despite some serious efforts, can only seek to limit the amount.

"A lot of the problem lies within the players themselves," DeMarco said.

The widespread use of the slurs is partly fueled by the same anonymity that provides cover for abuse throughout cyberspace. Players can compete with people thousands of miles away, and know them only by the fictional "gamertags" they use to identify themselves.

After years of tolerating abusive players, gamers have become more diligent about noting the gametags of abusive players and reporting them to game companies. Abusive players can be punished or even banned, but the process is slow.

"It's a baby steps kind of thing," DeMarco said.

Microsoft, maker of the XBox 360, has taken numerous steps to clean up the language on its Live service, which is by far the biggest online gaming service with some has 23 million members.

Stephen Toulouse, director of policy and enforcement for Microsoft's Xbox Live service, heads a team charged with providing a safe and enjoyable experience for customers.

"There is always a subset of humanity that goes toward miscreant behavior," Toulouse said.

With 1 million to 2 million players online at any one time, most of the policing falls to other users who report hate speech to the company, he said.

Those complaints are reviewed, and people who use hate speech can face punishments such as having their voice privileges suspended, making them unable to speak with other players in real time. They can also be banned temporarily or even permanently from the service, Toulouse said. Players whose conduct crosses into criminal behavior are reported to law enforcement, he said.

The company has created a Web site to help parents control their children's gaming, www.GetGameSmart.com. Parents can learn how to limit the people their children play with, limit the time and type of games they play and find other tools, he said.

Gamers always have the power to mute out any other player they find offensive, or can block an offensive player and not encounter him again, Toulouse said.

But the notion of companies monitoring and cleaning up cyberspace is troubling to some.

Joan Bertin, director of the National Coalition Against Censorship in New York City, said she is uncomfortable with game makers serving as "nannies."

"They respond occasionally and erratically and incompletely," she said. "Some people who are doing what everyone else is doing get caught."

The coalition, which works to protect First Amendment rights, does not generally endorse actions to limit speech, she said.

"The use of taboo language has a lot of different functions and they not all are evil," she said. "I don't think pulling the cover over it and hiding it makes it go away."

Gamers themselves are also somewhat split on the issue.

When Xbox Live banned the use of gamertags or profile information that revealed sexual orientation, in an effort to reduce taunting, some gays and lesbians were upset because they wanted to use such IDs, DeMarco said.

A simple solution would be having gamers use their real names, but that presents a host of problems involving privacy and the protection of children from predators.

"I don't want everybody out there knowing my name and looking me up on the Internet or Facebook," DeMarco said.

Plus the fake names can be fun, DeMarco said, although they can also be offensive, making plays on ethnic slurs.

Still, Toulouse said the use of real names is being studied as one possible solution.

DeMarco said the best solution may just be continuing to educate people, especially parents of young gamers, about the problem.

"I'd like to see parents being aware of what their kids being exposed to," he said.

www.GetGameSmart.com


Source: Yahoo!News
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 08:59:13 AM by Evil Nine » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 07:56:29 PM »

Joe,

Verbal abuse like bullying are strange problems.  I remember bullies and you stood up to them and solved the problem, somewhere we've lost that with crying to the teacher, etc. has become the norm.  Instead of standing up to bullies, we depend on someone else to do it.  Always someone else needs to take care of us.  I stood up to some bullies and lost fights, but they usually didn't bother me anymore since their victory was usually rather pyrrhic since they weren't in great shape to face anyone else.  After I started weight lifting, wrestling and football in high school the problem rate dropped to zero.  My point is bullying is something that should make you stronger not weaker.

So called "hate speech" reflects the same thing.  If you have pride in yourself, someone's words can't hurt you.  Vulnerability to "hate speech" indicates a personal weakness.  That doesn't mean that overt discrimination or physical assault should be ignored, it just means that you're not sure of yourself.  The danger in using legal remedies for 'hate speech" is the eventual misuse of that phrase to include any speech in opposition to those in power.  We see some of that already with the foolish accusations of racism and even sedition against Obama's opposition.  So, I'm against the entire concept of laws against "hate speech".


Art
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 12:17:23 AM »

It's true that sitting around on their arses all day smoking pot and playing video games, leads a general lack of physical fitness as well as diminished motivation, top it off with a bit of instant gratification and a complete sense of entitlement and these guys have alot more to worry about than school lunches!  :P
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 09:41:07 PM »

Well it might be right, America is slowly killing itself with trans fats lol
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