Nutrition Bill Would Limit School Bake Sales
posted at 2:16 pm on December 4, 2010 by Howard Portnoy
Here’s an idea for the First Lady. Why not simply place a moratorium on childhood? If we insist that children behave themselves like little adults from the time they take their first steps, there will be no childhood obesity because there won’t be children.
That idea makes almost as much sense as Michelle Obama’s latest recommendation in her pet project to end the scourge of fat kids. The idea is to give the federal government the authority to limit school bake sales.
The idea has already been tested out, by outgoing New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who called for a moratorium on school bake sales in city schools in March. Maybe Mrs. Obama can implement the second phase of Klein’s policy, which green lighted the sale of Doritos, Pop-Tarts, and other empty-calorie food products on school grounds.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to instilling healthful behaviors in our children. What I’m opposed to is the government mandating those behaviors. It might help their cause further if the First Lady’s White House Task Force on Obesity Report delivered to the president’s desk last May were not filled distortions and mischaracterizations of the childhood obesity epidemic.
The effort to control school bake sales is the latest in a spate of well-intentioned but hare-brained schemes to impose the government’s will on the populace while limiting personal freedoms. Previous schemes included spending taxpayer dollars to add 5,000 salad bars to public schools nationwide. Concerns expressed by communities over how local health inspectors would oversee the safety of the exposed food fell on deaf ears.
Of the plan to limit school bake sales, Lucy Gettman of the National School Boards Association, said on Friday, a day after the House cleared the bill:
This could be a real train wreck for school districts. The federal government should not be in the business of regulating this kind of activity at the local level.
Indeed, if the government is permitted to intrude into how schools raise funds, which is one of the motivations for bake sales, what is to stop them from sending inspectors into private homes to case out the family pantry? After all, it’s all in the name of protecting you from yourself.
In the meantime, maybe the First Lady and her hubby could set a better example by making their own well-publicized snack attacks—which include scarfing down ice cream, cookies, and fast food burgers—less frequent. Or at least less conspicuous.
- White House Task Force on Obesity Report is filled with lies and distortions
- School bake sales hazardous to your children’s health but not Dorito’s? More Big Brother shenanigans