Caseworker Alice Pitney

This is the home of Caseworker Alice Pitney, the driving force behind revolutionary self-improvement programs spreading across the state. Remember, "Not wanting help is the clearest possible indication that in fact you need it."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Schools send wrong message

I can't say that I approve of this. Schools are loading junk food with vitamins and making lowfat versions of pizza in order to improve the health of our children.
The faux-junk food push is the nutritional equivalent of making airplane noises while zooming a spoonful of food into a child's mouth: a dressy distraction intended to get children to clean their plates.

I have to agree with Ann Cooper's assessment:

Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services at Berkeley Unified School District in California, said she is appalled that a meal of chicken nuggets, tater tots, chocolate milk and fruit cocktail with high fructose corn syrup meets the nutritional requirements under the national school lunch program.

Even if science could somehow make these foods truly healthy, the problem is that distracting children in order to get them to clear their plates doesn't teach them that being healthy is their first and most important obligation as citizens, that taste is irrelevant, and that they should resist trying to satisfy their own desires for pleasure. By associating eating with pleasure, the school is not only setting up these children for a lifetime of unhealth, but it is also encouraging the kind of selfishness our society could do without.

The real goal should be to train these children to want to eat kale. It should be one of the top priorities of education in this country. My proposal will be on the governor's desk in the morning.

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