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Gingersnap
02-10-2011, 11:09 AM
Sugar, fat face expulsion
State officials cheer proposed rules to limit unhealthy foods in school snack bars, machines

By Stephen Smith
Globe Staff / February 10, 2011

Sugary soft drinks — gone. Diet sodas — not here. French fries, calorie-laden snacks, and white bread sandwiches would also be banished from a la carte lines, snack shops, and vending machines at all Massachusetts public schools under rules proposed by state health regulators yesterday.

The nutrition standards give form to legislation approved last year by lawmakers alarmed by the bulging waistlines of the state’s children and adolescents; more than one-third of fourth-graders, for example, are overweight or obese. Lawmakers ordered the Department of Public Health to draft a healthier menu for students, and the result is heavy on low-fat snacks, whole-grain baked goods, fruits, and vegetables.

The proposed regulations, which would not apply to the main cafeteria line, mirror food practices already in place at some schools — including in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville — and aim to make healthy choices an enforceable norm, rather than an easily avoided option. They are closely modeled on recommendations from national health panels, as well as practices in states such as Connecticut, which prohibits peddling any kind of soda or sports drinks in public schools.

The the school nutrition rules need the approval of the state Public Health Council, an appointed panel of doctors, consumer advocates, and professors, but members responded with uniform enthusiasm yesterday as regulators made their pitch.

The push to prohibit high-calorie, low-nutrient fare in schools emerges amid a national debate about government’s role in health care and just a day after two Boston city councilors called for banning smoking at parks and beach es, a move that raised concern about infringement of personal rights.

“Better standards for school lunch don’t create a nanny state; they get the government out of the obesity promotion business,’’ said Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston.

I wish a school district would implement this scheme and then report back on childhood obesity rates 3 years later. I am almost certain that there would be no difference in rates between schools that did this and those that did not.

Healthy food (whatever that is) is perfectly capable of making anybody overweight. Fat and sugar aren't magic spells that cause instant weight gain. I eat fat all the time. It's too many calories (of any kind) plus heavy carb consumption without enough physical activity to burn off the fat the insulin caused by the carbs has laid down. That's it.

The trivial amount of "nutrition" that brown rice or whole wheat bread offers is essentially pointless unless you are living exclusively off those products for a long time. Brown rice and while rice have the same gylcemic index.

It would be better to just serve children very plain foods at school with no attempt to make food and eating into some kind of exciting pastime. People rarely overeat steamed vegetables, veggie soups, plain bread, or baked chicken. :rolleyes:

Boston (http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/articles/2011/02/10/state_may_ban_unhealthy_food_from_schools/)

NJCardFan
02-10-2011, 11:19 AM
Who allowed soda and candy machines into schools in the first place? Probably a vending company of an associate school board member. Remember, there is always cronyism going on when you see this.

Gingersnap
02-10-2011, 11:29 AM
Who allowed soda and candy machines into schools in the first place? Probably a vending company of an associate school board member. Remember, there is always cronyism going on when you see this.

Booster clubs. I think it originally started just as a way of raising money for sports teams when drinks and snacks were sold during games, then it was fund-raising for other groups, and then just a money-maker for the school.