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Besides school and home-cooked meals, fast food restaurants and public programs, like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, are the other significant sources of student dietary intake, and have tremendous potential to improve both student and community health.

A Supplemental Nutrition Health Overhaul

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance programs should be fine-tuned to encourage healthy food selection and meal preparation, and, accordingly, purchase of empty calorie foods with EBT cards (formerly foods stamps) should be properly limited.

The Department of Human Services assuming a more proactive role in preventive healthcare via educating EBT Supplemental Nutrition recipients and the general public on diet and nutrition would eventually translate to substantial improvements in public health and savings in terms of public health care costs.

EBT Card Public Purchasability Juxtapose the Traditional Supplemental Nutrition Program

EBT cards should be purchasable for cents on a dollar at grocery stores, and primarily for underemployed parents/guardians of students who do not qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, although the cards should be purchasable by anyone.

Making EBT cards available for purchase to anyone for about half of every dollar, for example, and with respect to restrictions on unhealthy foods, would avail more food to consumers as a condition of eating healthier and decreasing likelihood of development of serious health problems and/or helping to reverse any existent illnesses.

The proposed purchasable EBT cards would come with brochures discussing the initiative, and would entail coupons for discounted access to local gyms or health clubs; they’d also inform of locations and times of health-related seminars, i.e. healthy cooking classes, etc. The noted brochures would also entail subscription cut-outs or applications for regular mailings of health tips, etc., and provide a web address where consumers could sign-up online to receive the mailings in either printed or electronic form.

Elevating Fast Food Standards

Fried and other foods that are high in saturated fat, such as those frequently on the menus of fast food restaurants, contribute substantially to incidences of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other synonymous illnesses, and, for this reason, all fast food restaurants should be held to standards and regulations that require methods of preparation that are conducive to human health.

This is very practical, without compromising taste, and could be accomplished by replacing deep fryers with combination-oven steamers and/or other appliances or equipment for oven-frying or baking chicken, fish, French fries, etc., and by appropriately reducing oil contents in pizzas, cheese and other breads, and properly reducing sugar contents in deserts and beverages…