Rand Simberg has some interesting comments about public officials misguided attempts to control childrens diets. My state has also jumped on the non-fat wagon. All public schools were ordered by the state to measure childrens body fat. Arkansas kids’ report cards now include their B.M.I., or body mass index, along with their grades. It hasn’t made any difference in the kids weight or body fat. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of schools to track or try to change childrens weight.
Kids are fed by school cafeterias at least twice a day…..breakfast and lunch…… but that doesn’t mean the food is really eaten. From what I’ve seen of school cafeterias most of the offerings are pretty mediocre and left on the plate. Kids aren’t stupid.
Schools shouldn’t be in the feed business anyway. They ought to close the cafeterias and require that kids bring their own lunches.
I remember when I was a kid. One of the most horrifying experiences I’ve ever had occurred in my elementary schools lunchroom when I was in the third grade. It was soup and peanut butter sandwich day. The vegetable soup was pretty good and the peanut butter sandwiches were……. peanut butter sandwiches. I made the mistake of admitting that I liked peanut butter sandwiches to a kid sitting near me.
Suddenly there was a stack of twelve or thirteen peanut butter sandwiches sitting on top of my plate. The teacher on duty ran over to my table and screeched at me. She called me a glutton and other names. I hadn’t even asked anyone to give me the sandwiches. I don’t think I could even eat after that.
I asked my mom to make my lunch from then on and she did. But back then we could bring our lunches but not our drinks so I still had to deal with the milk.
I remember the smelly milk cartons. I remember the response of the teacher when I told her I couldn’t stand milk and wanted to drink the juice. She had a fit.
Strange memories of school but to this day I cannot stand milk or catchup and am sure that it stems from the peanut butter incident.
School officials and politicians ought to leave kids alone. Let them bring their own lunches. Most kids would prefer that.
…like other misguided public health campaigns (remember “Just Say No”?), putting children on de facto diets at school just doesn’t work. In a 2003 experiment involving 41 schools, more than 1,700 children — many of them American Indian — were served lower-calorie and lower-fat lunches and were taught about healthy eating and lifestyles.
While the children took in fewer calories from fat at school, they experienced no significant reduction in their percentage of body fat.
Another study, in rural Nebraska in the mid-1990’s, put one group of elementary school students on lower-fat and lower-sodium lunches, increased their physical activity at school and offered more education about nutrition. Compared with students having no special program, the active, lower-fat group showed no differences in body weight or fat, or in levels of total cholesterol, insulin or glucose after two years.
Hat tip: Instapundit
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