January 8, 2007

Let's humiliate 7-year-old overweight kids

That's what's happening in schools all over Pennsylvania. Throughout the commonwealth of PA students from kindergarten through eighth grade must receive body mass index (BMI) scores along with their report cards, the NY Times reports.

So you would think then Pennsylvania is doing something about child obesity. But you'd be wrong. All they are doing is humiliating children. What's the cafeterias doing to help? Basically nothing.

"To successfully change students' eating habits, schools would need to counsel each child and provide really high-quality nutrition and physical activity assessments," said Marlene Schwartz, director at the center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.

And wouldn't the schools have to provide high-quality nutrition in the cafeteria? I guess not. The school district has revamped its menus, eliminating Gatorade and only the powdered sugar from the funnel cakes. But it still sells ice cream sandwiches and Rice Krispie treats.

But the real kicker is that the cafeteria starting serving appropriate portions of good foods, like kiwi and field greens. But because of the high cost, they stopped. It's back to canned fruit and iceberg lettuce.

Good nutrition, appropriate portions cost too much, say the schools. But there's always plenty of money to humiliate students.

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