May 22, 2012
A school in Utah was recently fined $15,000 by the federal government for the crime of selling soda to students during lunch. The school used the money made from the sale of soda to fund school programs.
According to federal rules, schools are only allowed to sell soda before and after lunch.
“The rule is vague and open to interpretation. For example, the way the rule reads – you can buy before lunch starts a carbonated beverage, buy school lunch, sit down in the cafeteria, eat the school lunch and not be in violation,” Davis High Principal Dee Burton told KUTV in Salt Lake City.
It is OK to sell Gatorade and “Snickers and Milkyway bars because they have nuts and they’re nutritious. You can’t sell licorice, but you can sell ice-cream,” Burton said.
Snickers and Milkyway bars are nutritious?
The feds say they are attempting to cut down on childhood obesity by fining schools thousands of dollars. But if the government is concerned about the health of children, why don’t they ban all soda sales in schools? Why haven’t they outlawed McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants from operating within a certain distance from schools?
According to studies, the primary cause of childhood obesity is parent obesity and is linked to genetics and environment. Dietary factors play a secondary role.
A three year randomized controlled study of 1,704 3rd grade children which provided two healthy meals a day in combination with an exercise program and dietary counsellings failed to show a significant reduction in percentage body fat when compared to a control group, according to a Wikipedia write-up on childhood obesity.
Despite this, the CDC believes schools “play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. Schools also provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.”
This should be the responsibility of parents, not public schools and the government. However, if we are to assume childhood obesity is caused by processed food, maybe the feds should be fining agribusiness and the food industry instead of attacking schools and parents.
That is not likely to happen any time soon because agribusiness and large corporations that produce and sell processed food contribute a lot of money to “our” Congress critters.
It’s easier and more profitable to take money from schools, and subsequently local communities, that pay property taxes to fund schools.
Fining schools for selling soda is another way for government to revenue enhance.