Control should be left with local schools

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 8, 2001

Obesity among American children is a real problem that should not be taken lightly.

Thursday, February 08, 2001

Obesity among American children is a real problem that should not be taken lightly. With that in mind, the Agriculture Department issued a report to Congress, which prompted a move to require that all food sold in schools meet nutrition standards issued by the department.

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The Agriculture Department’s report stated that the junk food kids consume is contributing to obesity and other health problems.

"When children are taught in the classroom about good nutrition and the value of healthy food choices but are surrounded by vending machines, snack bars, school stores and a la carte sales offering low nutrient density options, they receive the message that good nutrition is merely an academic exercise," the report states.

A law requiring that all food offered in schools meet nutritional standards would put an end to the vending machines, cookie sales, school stores and all other means to sell snack foods and soda.

That helps students make better choices at school. When faced with buying a candy bar and coke, students may opt to purchase a sandwich instead.

However, some schools depend on the sales from vending machines as part of their fund-raising. What would area school districts do if they could not depend on the money raised through selling soda and candy on school grounds?

Sweeping legislation to restrict the sale of such foods would take away the control of local schools. It should be left to their discretion whether they ought to completely eliminate foods with little nutritional value, or restrict the sale to certain times.

Turning the vending machines off turning the breakfast and lunch periods will help children to stick to healthier choices for their meals.