To the Editor:
Re “Children in U.S. Are Eating Fewer Calories, Study Finds” (news article, Feb. 21):
It’s good news that children over all are eating fewer calories, but too many of the empty calories they are eating come from junk food sold in school. Every year, this amounts to hundreds of billions of calories: if measured in candy bars, they would weigh more than the aircraft carrier Midway.
I use this military analogy because I am a retired Air Force general, and I am concerned that obesity is now the leading medical disqualifier from military service, with a quarter of all young adults too heavy to enlist.
Fortunately, the Department of Agriculture is updating decades-old nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in school vending machines and cafeterias. The 350 retired generals and admirals of Mission: Readiness will be watching to ensure that these updated standards are safeguarded from interference by special interests and are instituted in schools nationwide.
NORMAN R. SEIP
Alexandria, Va., Feb. 25, 2013
The writer is on the Executive Advisory Council of Mission: Readiness.