Thursday, June 09, 2005

Expelling Junk Food From New Jersey's Schools

The Eternal Debate over junk foods in our public schools continues. This time, it's the State Of New Jersey that has decided to take action:

Junk food and soda will be all but expelled from New Jersey public schools by the start of the 2007-08 academic year under regulations announced by the state Monday.

The new rules will halt selling or serving foods during the school day that are high in fat and sugar. Even portions of whole milk will be rationed.

"We are setting New Jersey's children on a course they can follow even as adults for longer, healthier and more enjoyable lives," acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said.

Soda and candy will be allowed sold only after school, though the rules will not affect children who bring their own food. Private schools that supply students with federally funded meals also will have to follow the rules.

Connecticut lawmakers sent to the governor last month legislation that would ban soda and junk food in cafeterias, vending machines and school stores.

Similar but weaker proposals have been introduced by lawmakers in at least 17 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The rules will ban all drinks except lowfat milk, water and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices from elementary schools. The policy is more relaxed for middle and high school students, allowing some sales of flavored iced teas and sports drinks.
As with just about every other law of this nature, it's full of loopholes. For example, the "sports drinks" that are authorized for middle/high schools are contain large amounts of sugar. Even though those sections of the law that deal with elementary schools would appear to be airtight, there is a "catch." The catch is that schools may continue selling junk food and sodas after school.

I thought the whole point of this law was to help combat the epidemic of childhood obesity that is overwhelming an entire generation of our children.

And why on earth will the new regulation limit the amount of whole milk that the kids can drink? Certainly, whole milk is loaded with calories, (as is fruit juice) but can you think of anything healthier for a child to put into his or her growing body?
To view the latest edition of The Carnival of Education (as well as entry guidelines) click here.

Main Page/Latest Posts