Even small changes to school regulations can cause a massive uproar.
While Weight of the Nation is airing on HBO this week (I'll comment on it after it's fully aired), here's what happens when public health officials try to do something to make it easier for kids to eat more healthfully.
The reaction? An uproar. The ban, according to critics, would
- Make it harder to raise money for class trips and athletic equipment
- Undermine the fundraising efforts of parent and student groups
- Not help prevent obesity
- Take away choice from school districts ("government gone awry")
Under this kind of pressure, "the governor spoke, emergency orders were issued, and the Legislature voted."
End of ban.
Massachusetts public health commissioner John Auerbach pointed out:
The school nutrition standards have always been about reducing childhood obesity in Massachusetts and protecting our kids from the serious long-term health impacts that obesity can cause...At the direction of Governor Patrick, the department will seek to remove these provisions.
We hope to return the focus to how we can work together to make our schools healthy environments in which our children can thrive.
Best of luck.