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A Federal Effort to Push Junk Food Out of Schools [nanny state alert]
NY Times ^ | February 7, 2010 | Gardiner Harris

Posted on 02/08/2010 3:39:11 AM PST by UAConservative

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will begin a drive this week to expel Pepsi, French fries and Snickers bars from the nation’s schools in hopes of reducing the number of children who get fat during their school years.

In legislation, soon to be introduced, candy and sugary beverages would be banned and many schools would be required to offer more nutritious fare.

To that end, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver a speech Monday at the National Press Club in which he will insist, according to excerpts provided to The Times, that any vending machines that remain in schools be “filled with nutritious offerings to make the healthy choice the easy choice for our nation’s children.”

The first lady, Michelle Obama, said last month that she would lead an initiative to reduce childhood obesity, and her involvement “shows the importance all of us place on this issue,” Mr. Vilsack said.

The administration’s willingness to put Mrs. Obama’s popularity on the line is a calculated bet that concerns about childhood obesity have become so universal that the once-partisan fight over who should control school food offerings — the federal government or school boards — has subsided.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: 111th; agenda; blanchelincoln; foodpolice; junkfood; nannystate; obesity; school
More nanny state policies.

Please tell me where in the Constitution, Mrs. Lincoln, the Federal government has the power to do this? Nowhere? That's what I thought.

1 posted on 02/08/2010 3:39:12 AM PST by UAConservative
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To: UAConservative

If only this were our largest problem. Yes, I know — give them an inch and they take your lunch.


2 posted on 02/08/2010 3:40:15 AM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March (2010 HOUSE RACES! Help everyone get the goods on their House Rats. See my profile.)
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To: UAConservative

It’s not the food. It’s the games the government took away. Merry-go-rounds, cops and robbers, dodge ball, monkey bars, snow ball fights, tag your it. etc....


3 posted on 02/08/2010 3:44:33 AM PST by just me (Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. (John Adams)
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To: UAConservative
I have a problem with the Federal government being involved in the schools period.

That said, what on earth are these school boards thinking when they put soda machines, candy bars, etc., in the schools? I ate in the school cafeteria for 12 years and the only "junk food" was probably the jello for dessert. If you didn't like the food, you had the option of bringing your lunch from home.

Milk was subsidized from the government, which kept the price of lunch down somewhat, but we had relatively nourishing fare and everyone ate it.

4 posted on 02/08/2010 3:51:20 AM PST by Abby4116
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To: just me
It’s not the food. It’s the games the government took away. Merry-go-rounds, cops and robbers, dodge ball, monkey bars, snow ball fights, tag your it. etc....

Inspired by the lie of, "everyone wins a gold medal, because we're all winners!"

Ugh. And we wonder why my generation's mediocre these days!

Great point, just me

5 posted on 02/08/2010 3:52:29 AM PST by UAConservative (Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere)
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To: UAConservative

and the threat of lawsuits


6 posted on 02/08/2010 3:54:44 AM PST by ari-freedom (Chris Wallace: I can tell you, Ronald Reagan would never have quit.)
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To: UAConservative

"You eat that? I ain't proud. Spit it out."

7 posted on 02/08/2010 3:55:54 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: UAConservative
It may not specifically have the power to do this, but it doesn't not have the power either. After all, if its a public school, they can allow/disallow whatever they like.

The more effective argument against this is that it just simply isn't going to work. Do they really believe that banning certain foods (and who decides which ones?) from certain places at certain times of the day is going to instantly turn kids onto whatever "healthy" alternative they provide as a substitute? Most of them will just get their sugar fix after school, or they will bring the candy in with them from home. Banning things hardly ever works. Usually its counterproductive (think prohibition).

8 posted on 02/08/2010 3:57:03 AM PST by Vanders9
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To: UAConservative
It seems that if parents were concerned about this issue they could deal with it more effectively as a family problem. Given that some children have dysfunctional families, the government’s solution, as usual, is to take things down to the lowest denominator and subtract freedom.
9 posted on 02/08/2010 3:58:29 AM PST by dog breath
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To: just me

I agree. Kids dont play outside enough any more.

Beside that , kids arent getting fat from what they eat in school. They are getting fat from what they eat at home.


10 posted on 02/08/2010 4:00:36 AM PST by Venturer
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To: UAConservative

She really believes that all children belong to the government.


11 posted on 02/08/2010 4:04:55 AM PST by Soothesayer (The United States of America Rest in Peace November 4 2008)
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To: UAConservative

States and counties should be banning the junk food. This is 0bama style nanny state intrusiveness at its best. All designed to make 0 look good
More useless Federal workers trying to look necessary and useful

Another illustration of why too much taxes are paid to the Imperial Government in DC
The Federal employees are so useless and have so much time on their hands they want to meddle w junk food in the local school districts.


12 posted on 02/08/2010 4:05:04 AM PST by dennisw (It all comes 'round again --Fairport)
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To: Abby4116

I’m with you, I don’t know when junk food came into the schools. The only pop or candy machines in our school were in the teacher’s lounge and that room was off limits.

Of course we weren’t allowed to wear shorts in school or leave for lunch.


13 posted on 02/08/2010 4:30:44 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: Abby4116

Back in the 70s there were no soda or candy machines in my school anyway.


14 posted on 02/08/2010 4:36:03 AM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: Venturer

What about the kids who can eat “junk” and not get fat? They get “punished” too? Heck, I pretty much lived on either processed cheese steaks or 2 of those little rectangle pizzas, plus a bag or two of cheese-doodles or Tastycakes for lunch every day and I was built like a stick-figure all thru’ school (much to my dismay, considering I got called Flatsy-Patsy more often then I care to admit). But yep, I also played outside in all kinds of weather, swam all summer and walked a mile+ to and from school every day until high school. You want kids to not get fat? Educate them on proper exercise and nutrition, stop with the namby-pamby self-esteem crap and if they live in places that aren’t safe to play outside, do something!! Or how about buying them all a Wii-Fit or somesuch? Use some of that” “Obama Stash”, eh?


15 posted on 02/08/2010 4:41:03 AM PST by twyn1
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To: ViLaLuz

The schools are far more permissive than they used to be in some (usually wrong) ways.


16 posted on 02/08/2010 4:46:39 AM PST by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
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To: Abby4116

“we had relatively nourishing fare”

Except for the ?mystery meat!” I lived in the dorm.


17 posted on 02/08/2010 4:49:07 AM PST by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: UAConservative

The federal government should not be allowed to do this.

I will be honest though. I would support the county school board if they passed such a policy. Kids should be eating healthier in schools. The feds shouldn’t be the ones to do it but a county school board that I could get elected to? Absolutely.

There is no reason that vending machines should be in schools. And there is a huge youth obesity problem in the country and it self-perpetuates. So, the actor is wrong here. Shouldn’t be the feds. It’s not a bad idea though.


18 posted on 02/08/2010 5:00:15 AM PST by AzaleaCity5691
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To: UAConservative
You are of course correct that this is none of the Federal Government's business.

But back when I was going to school there was absolutely no junk food available at my schools during school hours. No soda, no candy (during school hours). The only vending machine in the cafeteria dispensed Tropicana Orange Juice.

In the 70s I worked with a good conservative who was absolutely livid that the public school his kids were attending put in a vending machine that sold Twinkies. (I remember him being on the phone quite a bit about this, and one morning he came in to find all the drawers in his desk filled with Twinkies. At least he thought it was amusing!)

But now we let the inmates run the asylum. So when I visited my old high school for a day several years ago, it was junk food heaven. They had a food court! Pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries. I don't recall whether they even bothered to have a competing dietitian designed hot lunch.

ML/NJ

19 posted on 02/08/2010 5:03:29 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: twyn1

The federal government should not do this. However, when talking about public schools that are run on taxpayer money the agents of the taxpayer, in this case, the school board, do have every right to dictate how that money is spent. That’s why I oppose vouchers even as I shelled out a pretty penny to send all my kids to private schools. Because I realize that even one drop of government money comes with government obligations.

My father made a fortune as a contractor because he cultivated a good relationship with Governor Wallace. You better believe that there were strings attached and that he was expected to do things for Wallace.

That’s the nature of government money. If it is a government school then the government has every right to say how it is run. And I support the idea in principle but I firmly believe it should be a decision of the local school boards and not Washington.


20 posted on 02/08/2010 5:04:30 AM PST by AzaleaCity5691
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To: UAConservative

Junk food. You mean like mystery meat and sloppy Joes?


21 posted on 02/08/2010 5:06:41 AM PST by Fresh Wind ("...a whip of political correctness strangles their voice"-Vaclav Klaus on GW skeptics)
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To: Fresh Wind
Junk food. You mean like mystery meat and sloppy Joes?

Nah. They mean french fries which are clearly worse for children than grilled american cheese sandwiches on white bread fried in artificial lard.

22 posted on 02/08/2010 5:09:18 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: cripplecreek

I was in grade school back in the early ‘60s. The idea of soda machines or candy dispensers would have been outrageous. Not that the kids didn’t dream about it, but it was the kind of thing relegated to make believe. No self respecting adult in charge was going to allow children to slurp soda pop daily. We had 30 cent hot meals that included, at each meal, bread and butter (half white-half whole wheat) and a dessert. We drank milk always. If you wanted a change, then your mother gave you those straws with the powdered chocolate or strawberry in them. Until the third grade, we had snack in class (brought from home) supplemented with 3 cent half pints of milk, delivered to your class room every day. Why don’t they start doing this again? Children today are overweight for one reason alone, they get very little spontaneous exercise. Every physical thing a child does today is a planned activity. Most of the time, he or she is driven to the exercise which is timed. Years ago, kids just came home from school, changed into play clothes, and went outside till dinner time. It is not too late to do this again.


23 posted on 02/08/2010 5:13:04 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: sueuprising
I was in grade school back in the early ‘60s.

I grew up in Southern California at the same time and our meal program was exactly the same as yours.

Where, may I ask, did you go to grade school?

24 posted on 02/08/2010 5:17:26 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: Abby4116
If you didn't like the food, you had the option of bringing your lunch from home.

My grand daughter carries her lunch from home, once in a great while she will eat in the school cafeteria. I found out why on "grand parents day" at the school when I ate with her in the cafeteria. School food is very low quality.

I packed her a Little Debbie snack cake among her other lunch items this morning.

25 posted on 02/08/2010 5:24:20 AM PST by Graybeard58 ("0bama's not just stupid; He’s Jimmy Carter stupid”. - Don Imus)
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To: Abby4116
I have a problem with the Federal government being involved in the schools period.

That said, what on earth are these school boards thinking when they put soda machines, candy bars, etc., in the schools? I ate in the school cafeteria for 12 years and the only "junk food" was probably the jello for dessert. If you didn't like the food, you had the option of bringing your lunch from home.

Milk was subsidized from the government, which kept the price of lunch down somewhat, but we had relatively nourishing fare and everyone ate it.

+1.

When I was in school during the 70s there was no vending machines nor was there junky food. Pizza day was Friday but for the most part, even it was just cheese.

We had 1, yes 1 fat kid in my class. It had to be glandular or something. His mom did work for Frito Lay and he always brought a box of chips for the entire class for celebrations so perhaps it was the food. At any rate, we really have no business giving our kids fatty junk food. If we must feed them and the fact is, they get one meal a day from the gov't, at least it can be something healthy.

26 posted on 02/08/2010 5:25:41 AM PST by Malsua
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To: Abby4116

I’m probably a lot older than you but when I was in school, I walked home for lunch every school day for 12 years, rain or shine, not one single time eating in the school cafeteria.

No, it was not uphill both ways but it was about 12 blocks. I don’t believe kids get that much time for lunch any more.


27 posted on 02/08/2010 5:27:25 AM PST by Graybeard58 ("0bama's not just stupid; He’s Jimmy Carter stupid”. - Don Imus)
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To: paulycy

“I grew up in Southern California at the same time and our meal program was exactly the same as yours.”
How funny! I grew up on Long Island, NY a long way from So.California! Can you imagine all that food cost just 30 cents? My favorite lunch was the broiled filet of flounder on fridays. I can remember it clearly. Broiled flounder (in butter!), parslied potatoes and tartar sauce. Bread and butter and I think applesauce for dessert. Or a dixie cup ice cream. It was really good, not processed at all. THe fish was fresh and not “fishy.” We also had offerings like Chicken chow mein, American hero (bologna, lettuce, american cheese on a hero roll (for some reason spread with butter not mustard); pizza on wednesdays ( thick slices with meat sauce and sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese); hamburgers on rolls that were grilled! Do you remember any lunches?


28 posted on 02/08/2010 5:32:51 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: sueuprising
Do you remember any lunches?

Yes, but I think ours were more modest than yours. We had some sort of fried fish on Fridays. We always told each other it was for the Catholics. (I was raised Lutheran.)

We always had hamburgers with a pickle spear on thursdays and little english muffin pizzas on wednesdays. Other days were whatever they dreamed up. Every once in a great while we had fried chicken but not very often.

We almost always little salads or peaches/fruit and always vegetables (LOTS of green beans) along with everything else and I believe we paid 25 cents for lunch. That would account for the "modesty" factor I guess. Oh. And 5 cents for milk. Always milk. Nothing else.

Milk and lunch money was collected right after the morning bell and attendance and one lucky kid got to take the yellow envelope down to the office. They got a hall pass and everything. :0)

29 posted on 02/08/2010 5:39:43 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: Fresh Wind
I wouldn't wish those sloppy Joes on my worst enemy.

Isn't it ironic that the government that "cares so much" for its people unleashes the least inspected food on our children?

30 posted on 02/08/2010 5:59:01 AM PST by UAConservative (Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere)
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To: UAConservative

Why do you call it a nanny state policy?

Where in the Constitution does it say schools should even offer food?

Let the kids make their own sandwiches and brown bag it.


31 posted on 02/08/2010 6:03:24 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: sueuprising
We had those little dixie-cup ice creams in grade school, swirled half vanilla/half chocolate -- if you stuck the little wooden paddle in and twisted just right, you could pop the whole thing out and eat it like a popsicle ...

Up until Jr. High, we had set lunches that rarely varied. Fish on Friday (usually fish sticks), pizzas were Thursday (no meat sauce, just processed shredded cheese). I usually brought a bag lunch, as did most kids, but I always got the school lunch when it was grilled cheese and tomato soup. Yum!

There were vending machines when we got to High School, stocked with candy (lifesavers, chocolate bars) and bagged chips, & then soda-pop machines in my senior year.

32 posted on 02/08/2010 6:09:14 AM PST by twyn1
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To: UAConservative
In case you missed it, here is the Audi Green Car Superbowl commercial. You may love it or you may hate it but there is no question that is is a glimpse into our future if we let the Greenies continue to define the rules.

Don't forget to select one of the HD settings for best quality.

Audi Green Car Commercial

33 posted on 02/08/2010 6:10:53 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: paulycy

“Milk and lunch money was collected right after the morning bell and attendance and one lucky kid got to take the yellow envelope down to the office. They got a hall pass and everything. :0)”
Oh how you are bringing back memories! Yes, I remember the daily collection and the yellow envelope!! If you brought your lunch, then you could purchase milk in the cafeteria for 3 cents. I remember having pennies rolled up in aluminum foil for this purpose. What happened in the intervening years? Why did the food get more processed? When my children went to school, they did not have anything like I had 30 odd years before, and I am sure the school taxes are now quadruple the amount. You know, all this talk today about obesity in children gets me to thinking. I have friends in the Old Order Mennonite community in PA. Several times I have visited the one room schoolhouses they still use. All the children bring lunch from home daily which consists of a sandwich, fruit and maybe pretzels. The kids usually drink water. After morning lessons, they go outside for 15 minutes of play time. After lunch, they go outside for 30 minutes of play/exercise which usually consists of a softball game that the teacher participates in as well. After some afternoon lessons, the kids go out for another 10-15 minute recess before finishing lessons for the day. Then these children go home to farms or rural homes at least, where they do chores. They are always in motion, and are usually never obese. This is so simple; if the schools are so worried about the children, why not implement some of these old fashioned things??


34 posted on 02/08/2010 6:11:19 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: Graybeard58

I also walked to school every day in grammar school. It was about 10 blocks in a suburban neighborhood. Sometimes, my mother took the walk with us. I also ,at times, walked home for lunch where my mother made me tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich or english muffin pizzas! We must have gotten more than 30 minutes for lunch in those days because I had to walk the ten blocks back and forth and still have time to eat. Of course, times were different then, particularly because our mothers were home to feed us.


35 posted on 02/08/2010 6:17:06 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: twyn1

Where did you go to school? You must be much younger than me because when I went to H.S. (class of ‘70), the lunches were still pretty much the same as usual but if I remember correctly were 55 cents instead of 30cents. My high school did not get vending machines until the ‘80s I believe. I guess the schools thought they could make a commission from the vending machine sales.


36 posted on 02/08/2010 6:21:03 AM PST by sueuprising
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To: UAConservative

“In relation to the political decontamination of our public life,the government will embark upon a systematic campaign
to restore the nation’s moral and material health.
The whole educational system, theater, film,
literature, the press and broadcasting —
all these will be used as a means to this end.”


37 posted on 02/08/2010 6:21:19 AM PST by Seruzawa (If you agree with the French raise your hand - If you are French raise both hands.)
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To: sueuprising
-if the schools are so worried about the children, why not implement some of these old-fashioned things??

They will. The entire country is sick and tired of the social experimenting that's been going on since the late 60s and now has been proven beyond doubt to simply be the failed socialism of the early 1900s wrapped up and sold as "science." But it wasn't science. It was a costly fraud that hurt millions of people.

All marxism (on which socialism/communism is based and which started in the mid 1800s) ends up in fine-sounding poison for any society that adopts it.

Get Constitutional Conservatism back and common-sense solutions (good food, competition and exercise, anyone?) will find their way back into the curriculum again.

38 posted on 02/08/2010 6:26:48 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: sueuprising
We lived in the Philly suburbs, graduated in '77. Lots of spoiled, rich kids. I think lunches in grade school were under 50 cents, then in Jr, High & High school it was a-la carte so it varied. 2 pizzas were like a buck, the steak sandwiches about the same. I usually spent a couple bucks every day unless I brought a lunch. We went to a "progressive" High School, with open-area classes (no walls, just divided-up huge rooms with a dozen classes going all at the same time), a "smoking area" for students and an open campus. Very weird.

I went back to my high school school a few years ago when I had to take my (homeschooled) daughter in for a PSAT test. The cafeteria was set up like a food court at the mall, Pizza Hut, a mini-Burger King, a couple other franchise-type places. There was also a very nice salad bar, but that was rather deserted.

39 posted on 02/08/2010 6:36:32 AM PST by twyn1
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To: Graybeard58
Nobody is a LOT older than I am :)

I think we had an hour for lunch - including lunch recess. The kids that lived within a block or so could go home; most of us stayed. In junior high and high school everyone had to stay for lunch.

This was during the 50's and the only heavy child we had in our class was one who did go home for lunch.

40 posted on 02/08/2010 7:26:51 AM PST by Abby4116
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To: paulycy

I went to school in central IL in 60s, and had essentially the same experience. If there were any vending machines anywhere, I was never aware of them.


41 posted on 02/08/2010 7:46:58 AM PST by NEMDF
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To: NEMDF
If there were any vending machines anywhere, I was never aware of them.

We got some vending machines (4) when I was in junior high school. After that everybody had chocolate milk, fruit pies and ice cream sandwiches.

Maybe there's something to all this vending machine stuff but the decisision-making authority ought to be at the local school level, maybe the state level. Not the feds.

Sorry Michelle. How about battling illiteracy in the inner cities? Why not try that for awhile?

42 posted on 02/08/2010 7:53:01 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: paulycy
I have no problem with schools implementing healthier eating choices at the local level, hopefully with parental involvement and with an educational explanation given to the students. Just not thrilled with anything that smacks of big-nanny government.

Honestly -- I really don't see how it's going to make a difference, since most kids will just bring junk from home or stuff themselves with crap after school instead.

43 posted on 02/08/2010 8:22:26 AM PST by twyn1
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To: Abby4116
That said, what on earth are these school boards thinking when they put soda machines, candy bars, etc., in the schools?

It's an easy way to supplement their budgets. Then they send home notes to parents telling them that they need to watch what their kids are eating, that obesity is a problem.

44 posted on 02/08/2010 8:26:28 AM PST by keepitreal ( Don't tread on me.)
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To: Abby4116
Schools make a lot of money off of those vending machines. Why can’t kids slurp down pop all day when that’s what they see the adults doing. I am amazed at how many “adults” drink pop/soda in the morning instead of coffee or tea and continue all day long with their soda drinking.

My boss carries her diet coke around with her all day. She is never without it.

45 posted on 02/08/2010 9:40:13 AM PST by GrannyAnn
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To: Abby4116
Nobody is a LOT older than I am :)

I know the feeling.

I am almost 65.

My mom was in an accident a couple of years ago, another driver rear ended her car, when telling me about it she kept referring to, "the old man that hit me", mom was 87 at the time.

She's 89 now and no longer drives......as long as no one tells her she can't.

46 posted on 02/08/2010 12:15:49 PM PST by Graybeard58 ("0bama's not just stupid; He’s Jimmy Carter stupid”. - Don Imus)
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To: UAConservative

EXCELLENT.

There is no right that children have to French Fries, Twinkies or SodaPopTonic!

After all, we don’t have cigarette vending machines in schools. So why these “foods” that are hard to metabolize, fatty, contain tons of toxic ingredients should be on sale in schools is beyond me.


47 posted on 02/08/2010 12:20:15 PM PST by swarthyguy (My toast when imbibing: "Beer hu Akbar" - Riposte - "Inshallah")
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To: paulycy

I hope you are right. But do you really think the entire country is fed up with the nonsense that has been going on since the ‘60s? Maybe it is because I live in the NY area, but so many people are terribly liberal. I am praying for a revival that would turn men’s hearts to the Lord.


48 posted on 02/08/2010 8:13:13 PM PST by sueuprising
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To: sueuprising
do you really think the entire country is fed up with the nonsense that has been going on since the ‘60s?

I think a voting majority is fed up with it. That's what I should have said. A voting majority, IMO, wants the adults with some life experience and common sense to take charge again.

Now that the corruption from leftist politics to pseudo-science globull warming scams to all the politically correct nonsense has reached a peak it is time to squash it back down and relegate it to the kook fringe where it belongs.

49 posted on 02/09/2010 4:41:43 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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