Thursday, December 23, 2010

what's wrong with dessert?

I think I would keel over dead in a day or so if I didn't have sugar to prop me up: hot cocoa (chai tea did horrible things to my tummy) in the morning to get me going, a Coca-cola after my run to cool me down and not let me take a nap, and a mid afternoon snack to propel me through until dinner. But the powers that be in St. Paul, MN; a panel of parents, teachers, school nurses and administrators have taken it on themselves to deem the city's public schools "sweet free zones." Dessert and salty treats are banned from the buildings in much the same way we saw school declared drug free and gun free areas in the 1980's and '90's. (Did that work so well? Say, at my alma mater, Virginia Tech?)

I think the student quoted has a much more clear concept of personal freedom than the grownups who have restricted their own food intake to somehow reduce the number of fat children.

"All my friends say, 'This really sucks,'" said Misky Salad, a 10-year-old fifth-grader at Chelsea Heights Elementary. "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies."

Superintendent Valeria Silva, who was hired a year ago, decided to take action after a study determined 40 percent of St. Paul's fourth-graders, most of whom are poor and minority, are obese. That's 11 percent higher than the national rate. Star Tribune

My vote is to have the 1st graders go to Superintendent Silva's home, as well as everyone on the wellness panel who thought this up and raid their fridges and pantries. Take out everything that could possibly be "dangerous" food items such as coffee (stunts your growth), sugar, oil, chocolate, chips, soda, liquor, cigarettes, matches, white flour, soy, salt... and give those who deem it "responsible" to dictate what goes in the mouth of others a taste of their own medicine. 

As I have written many times on this blog, there seem to be very few fat homeschoolers. I don't know why, but perhaps it is because those who want the best for their children take on the responsibility for both their education and health, rather than foist it off on some government entity or that homeschoolers spend more time doing active things than sitting in a desk all day. One reason is not that homeschoolers are denied the opportunity to eat a little something sweet after their lunch.  


Janice said...

I'm not a fan of one-size-fits-all laws-- I'd rather see parents doing a good job of teaching their children about eating well. However, I'm also not a fan of the idea that it should be up to 5th-graders to "determine what we should do with our bodies." That's an idea with legs!

There needs to be a happy medium- the school should provide balanced meals and guidance, but probably shouldn't control edibles from home. If kids aren't learning about eating well at home, guidance may at least make them aware of healthier choices.

Processed sugar isn't good for kids on any level-- it exacerbates health and behavioral problems, which can lead to more serious issues as kids grow up. I seriously doubt that it will hurt kids to be without sugar for 8 hours a day.

Conni said...

I'm all for the PS kids being taught about nutrition - and the school lunches that are offered should NOT be processed GARBAGE. I'm talking about the food itself, not even the sweets. Did you see that show earlier in the year - Jamie-something's food revolution. Did you see what public school kids are fed by the schools?!?!?! I wanted to throw up just watching the show.

But at the same time, if parents chose to spend money on the lunches for their is up to the parents to decide what to feed them. You simply can't dictate what people eat on their own dime.