Thursday, February 18, 2010

Should the Government Ban Junk Food in Schools?

To continue our discussion of governmental control vs. personal responsibility in regard to what we eat:

An article in The New York Times earlier this month discussed the government’s desire “to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years.”

Considering the obesity and diabetes rates among our children (and adults), this seems like a no-brainer.

However, Gene Kotulka, the principal of a high school featured in the article, believes it is “parents’ responsibility to forbid children at risk of obesity to buy candy.”

Sorry, sir, but this has no chance of succeeding; most parents themselves have little idea as to what constitutes healthy food. I see the proof daily in kitchen pantries and shopping carts. Our societal food knowledge has been tamped down by the big food companies’ incessant marketing campaigns.

I understand that schools selling junk food make money to use for noble causes. But wouldn’t we have mounds of money to spend on books and sports uniforms if we didn’t waste it on treating our unnecessarily sick kids?

And from the article, further evidence that home is far from the bastion of quinoa and grass-fed butter that Mr. Kotulka thinks it is: “Edgar Coker, an 18-year-old senior, buys Pop-Tarts . . . every afternoon for 50 cents. ‘If I couldn’t buy it here, I’d bring it from home,’ he said.”

Big Government, please help save us from ourselves, Big Food and Big Mr. Kotulka.


Orsi said...

Rob, you might find this article interesting:

Argues that free will is an illusion. Any argument about junk food regulation ultimately comes down to the philosophical (now biological?) question of free will, doesn't it?

Chef Rob said...


Thanks for the link; hopefully I'll get a chance to read the article this afternoon.