Chewing the Fat: Eating Healthy In Houston

We gotta give Houston some credit. Sure, the city continues to suffer from its reputation as the home of Texas-sized residents, consistently placint near the top of Men's Health's over-hyped, under-researched "Fattest Cities" list...but at least people are doing something about it.

The Chronicle posted a feature today about Recipe for Success, a program that sends chefs into the classroom, where they encourage students to do some cooking. Often they dish up meals from ingredients the kids have never even heard of, let alone tasted. And this story comes after a Reuters report from last year, stating that Houston ISD, along with other Texas school districts, are making major changes to the foods offered in school cafeterias--so it seems like there's a coordinated effort in place.

In cafeteria lines, students can pass up the healthy options in favor of greasy pizzas and cheeseburgers. Recipe for Success employs a different strategy. Kids agree from the beginning to try whatever they cook, whether or not they think they'll like it.

Oh, well. Any positives from this program must ultimately face the healthy living terminator: TV. At least according to researchers at the University of Minnesota, anyway, who will release a report (available here) later this week indicating that exposure to television increases the likelihood that children eat a poor diet five years later. The upside for the rest of us? Houston can continue being the (big) butt of all our jokes.

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