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Old 12-03-2007, 12:18 AM   #16
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Hmmm, I attended high school in the late '80s and neither of my high schools had vending machines. We weren't allowed to drink or eat outside the cafeteria during class hours, either. Was that atypical for the time or something?

It sounds from the article like diet soda sales, at least, would be exempt from any bans in high schools. I know it sounds finger-shaking, but if you're going to ban candy vending machines you really should ban regular soda sales too--all they are is liquid candy. Dread is right; there's no way around the fact that regular consumption of foods most kids used to see as occasional treats (sodas, chips, pastries, candy) is a major contributor to childhood obesity problems--you can talk about nutrition education all you want, but for kids especially, eating behavior is driven much more by habits than by intellectual awareness of what's nutritious and what isn't. Which in the big picture does mean that what kids are eating at home is more important than what they're eating at school...but that's not in itself a good reason not to restrict access to junk foods in schools. It's not like having junk food available at your workspace or school is a constitutional right.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:50 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
The problem is that childhood obesity leads to adult health problems that cost the health care industry money. Better to fight the battle while kids are young.

I think it is a good move.
I'm inclined to agree.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:01 AM   #18
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Originally posted by yolland
Hmmm, I attended high school in the late '80s and neither of my high schools had vending machines. We weren't allowed to drink or eat outside the cafeteria during class hours, either. Was that atypical for the time or something?
I don't think it was atypical at all. I graduated from high school in 1980 and candy and ice cream bars were sold occasionally after school in this little "soda shop" at the school. That was mostly for the girls that lived there though (it was a private school with both boarding and day students). The school did have a couple of soda vending machines, but they weren't hugely popular. I remember most of us got a soda once or possibly twice a week.

We weren't allowed to eat or drink in class either. I remember one teacher (a nun) telling us we could chew gum in her class but only if she couldn't tell. She could always tell.

I don't remember ever eating or drinking in any of my college classes either now that I think about it.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
The problem is that childhood obesity leads to adult health problems that cost the health care industry money. Better to fight the battle while kids are young.

I think it is a good move.
While I fully agree it's best to get at this problem when people are young, at the same time, I'm sorry, I still say a ban isn't going to solve things. For one thing, one other major reason kids are becoming obese is because gym class isn't a requirement anymore, and parents aren't making their kids get out and get exercise. I hated gym class. HATED. IT. Namely 'cause I sucked at a lot of the games that were played in it. But I had to do it as a child, and I think we should reestablish that as a required class again. By the time I got to high school, junior/senior year you only had to take it for one semester and you could choose your activities-one of them was card playing. Not exactly a calorie-burning activity.

If kids get out and get some exercise, that'll help greatly. And I also find it really strange that adults are trying to restrict kids' eating habits, yet I've seen a commercial for one of those diet plans where an adult is all excited because she can lose weight and still have her chocolate foods in this plan as well. Uh...what?

I have no problem with individual parents dictating what their own children should and shouldn't eat. That's fine. But I don't think it's one group of adults' place to run all children's lives. And a ban just won't be successful. Banning stuff never solves the problem. Education and emphasis on time outdoors getting fresh air and exercise are the keys, I think (and yes, this applies to me as well. I'm horribly out of shape, I could do with more outdoor activity and healthier eating habits).

By the way, I hate diet pop . Tastes like crap.

Angela
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:10 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
For one thing, one other major reason kids are becoming obese is because gym class isn't a requirement anymore, and parents aren't making their kids get out and get exercise.
Dread can correct me if I'm wrong here, but actually, I think it's the case that as of now, 90%+ of the country's school districts DO have Phys Ed requirements--it's more that they're poorly enforced, and with the expansion of the academic curriculum in recent years, schools have found it harder and harder to make time for gym classes. I think better nutrition and better exercise are complementary goals, though, and I doubt that many people who support restricting junk food in schools are opposed in principle to increasing PE time. Adressing one doesn't cancel out the importance of addressing the other.
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And I also find it really strange that adults are trying to restrict kids' eating habits, yet I've seen a commercial for one of those diet plans where an adult is all excited because she can lose weight and still have her chocolate foods in this plan as well. Uh...what?
The difference is that when you're an adult monitoring your own diet, or a parent monitoring your child's diet, the entire budget for that food is coming out of your own individual pocket, and the effort of putting it on the table is yours alone as well. You can, of course, expand that to your children's school lunches by having them bring their own--and to judge from the article at least, the proposed legislation would have no effect on what home-packed lunches might include. But traditionally, it's been seen as both valuable and necessary for schools themselves to offer prepared meals to students--not for the purpose of establishing an in-school 'marketplace' where students can buy whatever they feel like eating, but to help ensure their nourishment, especially for children whose parents might be on tight food budgets, or negligent about providing meals themselves. It's a function of the school in its capacity as provider of social goods, drawing on funds supplied by the total community it serves.

(One implementation problem the proposed reforms might have, though, is that for many schools their 'a la carte' sales are effectively subsidizing their insufficiently-government-subsidized 'standard' meals, which could lead to problems if changes in the a la carte offerings caused profits in that area to drop. Presumably that's what all these negotiations with corporations referred to in the article are about.)

I do agree that the most important influences are those that come from home. If parents are routinely letting their kids eat junk food and sit around on their butts all day when not in school, then for schools to ban sales of junk food and require more PE is unlikely to adequately lay the foundation for a lifetime of good eating and exercise habits. But again, I don't think that's a good reason for schools to not prioritize what's in the longterm best interests of public health--whether that takes the form of promoting better nutrition, or promoting more exercise; and whether every individual student and parent are happy about it or not.
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:40 AM   #21
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Originally posted by LarryMullen's_POPAngel
I can't look back to my high school years without picturing every other desk in every class with a can of whatever their poison was on top of their desk.

Diet Coke was (and still is) mine.
Here it is ice tea, (carbonated) water or apple juice with sparkling mineral water.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:26 AM   #22
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Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel

By the way, I hate diet pop . Tastes like crap.

And see, I can't have the regular stuff because years after going with only Diet, it tastes awful to me. Regular Coke now tastes like dish detergent.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:35 AM   #23
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And see, I can't have the regular stuff because years after going with only Diet, it tastes awful to me. Regular Coke now tastes like dish detergent.
Same here. If I ever do drink regular anymore, it's very rare and when I do, it just doesn't taste right to me.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
Hmmm, I attended high school in the late '80s and neither of my high schools had vending machines. We weren't allowed to drink or eat outside the cafeteria during class hours, either. Was that atypical for the time or something?
For us it depended on the class. You could aways eat by your locker or in the commons during breaks. Most of my teachers allowed drinks...can't think of one that didn't. Everyone had a Nalgene bottle. Some allowed food/snacks during class. The school had a contract with Pepsi so we had about a dozen Pepsi machines. The school also sold coffee. If kids were allowed to drink water and the coffee the school sold, I imagine they'd have a hard time telling kids who drink soda only they can't have it in class. I can't remember not being allowed to have drinks during class. Some teachers even encouraged snacking b/c at least it kept us awake!
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:56 AM   #25
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Wow, we weren't even allowed gum during class back in my day...I feel so old.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:09 PM   #26
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We weren't allowed to eat in class unless it was something like a granola bar (you couldn't have lunch in class, basically), but we were allowed to have whatever drinks we wanted.

It was quite liberating in university to be able to bring street meat into the lecture halls.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:34 PM   #27
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This is kind of stupid. Making a move to limit the junk food available in school cafs is avoiding the root of the problem in favour of attacking it at its most superficial level.

Kids are unhealthy due to their sedintary lifestyles, bad nutrition influences from parents (also overweight a lot of the time), and from our culture of modern living in general. The problem of childhood obesity should be attacked at the community level, whether its investment in more wide-ranging after school sports programs, alternative gym classes providing non-competitive physical activity, and pushing good nutrition onto neglectful parents.

You have kids who cook with a microwave seven days a week, living off 7-11 burritos, and you expect taking doughnuts out of the school caf will reduce obesity? I appreciate that a lot of families don't have time to cook every night of the week, but it's not that hard to use a fucking crock pot to get some vegetables into your kids' diets. Cooking smart, healthy food ends up being cheaper than buying pre-packaged crap anyway. It just takes a little bit of effort to make a lifestyle change, and in many cases people are too lazy for even that.

That, and people just need to eat less, for god's sake. Culturally, we get our references on what a good portion size should be from Red Lobster and Bennigans'. Although I appreciate the odd restaurant visit, those are not healthy portions, they are over-servings of food. The French aren't skinny due to some odd combination of the foods they ingest; they're skinny because they eat small portions of a wider variety of food.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:56 PM   #28
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Wow, we weren't even allowed gum during class back in my day...I feel so old.
i'd like to punch any kid who walks into the gym chewing gum in the face, but i'm afraid that it would fall out and stick to the floor.

oh, and that i'd get fired and arrested and all.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:21 PM   #29
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This is kind of stupid. Making a move to limit the junk food available in school cafs is avoiding the root of the problem in favour of attacking it at its most superficial level.

Kids are unhealthy due to their sedintary lifestyles, bad nutrition influences from parents (also overweight a lot of the time), and from our culture of modern living in general. The problem of childhood obesity should be attacked at the community level, whether its investment in more wide-ranging after school sports programs, alternative gym classes providing non-competitive physical activity, and pushing good nutrition onto neglectful parents.

You have kids who cook with a microwave seven days a week, living off 7-11 burritos, and you expect taking doughnuts out of the school caf will reduce obesity? I appreciate that a lot of families don't have time to cook every night of the week, but it's not that hard to use a fucking crock pot to get some vegetables into your kids' diets. Cooking smart, healthy food ends up being cheaper than buying pre-packaged crap anyway. It just takes a little bit of effort to make a lifestyle change, and in many cases people are too lazy for even that.

That, and people just need to eat less, for god's sake. Culturally, we get our references on what a good portion size should be from Red Lobster and Bennigans'. Although I appreciate the odd restaurant visit, those are not healthy portions, they are over-servings of food. The French aren't skinny due to some odd combination of the foods they ingest; they're skinny because they eat small portions of a wider variety of food.
Exactly.

I don't think anyone would disagree with what you're saying, but even a small step such as this is still a step in the right direction, I guess.

Both kids and their parents need to be a lot more proactive in the choices they make.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:30 PM   #30
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I think high school students should be given the credit and responsibility to police their own food choices-they can easily get to a store nearby their school and get junk anyway if they have a car or their friends do. Or they can bring it to school in their backpacks, if they're not searched these days even for food I suppose. But I do think it's a good idea to keep it out of other schools, especially soda. Even diet-it is full of bad chemicals. I haven't had soda in about a year and a half now and I wish I had given it up a long time ago. If I could only give up coffee. I know many adults who are soda addicts, diet and regular.

If schools can ban hugging I don't see why banning certain foods and soda is over the line either. Hugs are much healthier.
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