Monday, June 26, 2006

Fear Of Fat In Formative Years

I'm so old I can tell you that as an elementary and high school student, we used to walk across the street from school to a soft drink machine daily. It helped remove that nasty slick taste of weird milk from little plastic boxes. Oh and we had phys-ed class at least 3 times a week right thru our senior year. And even then there were kids who were overweight.

By the late 1980s, most schools had soft drinks for sale in the schools and some even had a little McDonald's franchise in the cafeteria. I guess phys-ed died out around the time Big Hair Rock Music came to prominence.

And every boy (and some girls) always had pocketknives but this was all pre-Columbine. Schools are now known as "gun free zones" - which doesn't stop a kid from bringing a gun to school - and police patrol the corridors. I guess I got out just in time.

Now in addition to gun fears we have Fat Fears.

So schools, like the ones in Greene County, are ditching soft drinks and will sell juice and water. I wonder if the "free" water fountains in schools of my youth are also a fading memory?

But along with the Fat Fear there are the Funding Fears:

When the proposed wellness policy came up for discussion, Armstrong said he had been receiving calls about how adoption of the new wellness policy might affect the income the four high schools receive from contracts with soft-drink manufacturers that have been granted exclusive rights to sell their products in the high schools.

He noted that during the school year that just ended, Chuckey-Doak High School alone received $30,068 as its share of proceeds from the sale of Coca-Cola products at C-DHS.

He also noted that C-DHS had received four athletic scoreboards paid for by Coca-Cola. The soft-drink maker, he said, also pays for maintenance of the scoreboards.

Armstrong said school principals were concerned that they might not derive as much income from the sale of juices, flavored-water beverages, and healthful snacks as they had from sales of soft-drinks, candy and other less-healthful snacks from machines.

More can be read in the article here.

And apparently the No Child Left Behind laws require eliminating soft drinks and snack machines. Maybe the kids will have to go back to running to nearby stores and back to get their exercise.

I'm just glad I left the school years behind and I have no kids who have so many fears and fat to contend with. And I don't have to attend Special Committees who meet and empower each other and get to use fantastical words like "wellness." I still have no idea what the heck a "wellness" is, unless it means to have the qualities of a well.

I wonder if the kids in the next generation will have to meet a Fat Quotient to go along with their Grade Points.

The picture below arrives via a web page dedicated to Tales Of Obese Kids Around the World.


  1. I think you hit the nail right on the head when you used the word fear. We need to fear most policy makers who use fear to cut funds for their greed.

    Joe it seems it is all about unreasonable greed driving unreasonable fear. When I use the word greed I mean it as a control issue not only about money.

  2. Not that this excuses anything, but the kid in the picture is a sumo wrestler. Still fat, though.
    While I don't like the use of fear tactics, I do feel that kids these days aren't instilled with self-control enough to stay away from what's bad for them. Is that the school's fault? Nope. Should they remove all the food and soda machines from school? Eh, maybe.
    Am I rambling? Emphatically, yes.

  3. This issue is pressing hard everywhere. Funny thing is, that the fear thing is the tactic these days in everything. I hate it.
    On the other hand, the health person in the school system here says it will probably cost them more money.
    Checking on that.

  4. Alloyd411:38 AM

    OK. I'm old. Had "gym class" five days a week through 8th grade, then three times a week until graduation. There were no vending machines. Cafeteria food sucked, but you ate it unless you brought your own lunch.
    Why would any podunk high school need a fancy electronic scoreboard? Especially if it was paid for on the bellys of children too fat and slow to ever play on any school team. I've never been a parent so I don't understand where our priorities went. Is there ANY part of modern American society that isn't competely not right? Back to my cave.