Saturday, October 07, 2006

Healthier foods in schools

The William J. Clinton Foundation has struck again.

In an effort to fight the rise in childhood obesity, five of the country’s largest snack food producers said yesterday they would start providing more nutritious foods to schools, replacing sugary, fat-laden products in vending machines and cafeterias.

French fries, ice cream, candy, cupcakes and potato chips from the machines, lunch lines, school stores and even school fund-raising events could disappear under a voluntary agreement between the companies and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

This follows an agreement in May to halt most soda sales in schools. Kudos to Clinton.

1 comment:

ealtson said...

It is good, but it's really such a small part of the problem. Fattening foods in school have been around for generations, but it's only in the last 10-20 years that we have seen a serious rise in obesity.

In my daughter's case, she simply eats what she wants to when she buys lunch at school, which is usually the highest carb, highest fat items. She's special ed, and as such, has a very hard time understanding WHY she needs to eat the carrot sticks instead of the french fries, and the school certainly isn't going to sit there and remind her to drink her milk and try the cottage cheese. But her attitude is typical of ALL the students. Good nutrition starts at home, and it's not simply forcing our kids to finish their spinach. It's EDUCATION. The snacks ultimately aren't going anywhere. They may change form slightly, but "healthier" to a company that produces nothing but cookies and high-carb chips is still going to be WAY too much when our kids will simply choose to eat the "tastiest" snacks and dump the rest into a trash can.

Personally, I see a better solution to this problem is to completely disallow any food with a brand name attached, whether on packaging or vending machines. Multibillion-dollar corporations have no business telling our kids what "healthy" means.