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Continued debate about the role of schools in nutrition education, the role of government in mandating certain standards for foods served and sold in school, and the role of parents in raising their kids.

One MNB user wrote:

The problem lies at home. It is the parents responsibility to raise their children. Lifestyle has changed in the US in the last 20 years. The availability of fast food has increased dramatically. When I grew up there was no computer or gaming systems, therefore we played outside and burned up calories. Eating out all the time was expensive so we cooked at home. The kids now have money and choose to buy fast food. They sit in front of a computer or gaming system instead of going outside to play. Is the next step the government mandating certain foods and so much exercise per day at home? I would hope not.

Another MNB user speculated as to what might happen if schools start restricting the sale of junk food:

How long will it take for the enterprising youth of today to open up shop at their local school? I am sure they will be selling many of the forbidden products at a considerable mark up. Speaking from the experiences of my youth kids will line up to purchase these items at a considerably higher price. It's not about banning the foods it's about educating the kids.

Funny image, though…teenagers will be loitering in the hallways pushing Twinkies and Dr. Pepper.

Don’t think of this as pushing illegal foods. Think of it as them getting an unintended education in economics and the free market.

And another MNB user wrote:

I evidently had a charmed life growing up. My school lunches were awesome. The lunchroom "ladies" made biscuits from scratch, prepared vegetables the way my mom did and served foods with a great deal of pride. They considered packed lunches to be an insult to their craft and sought out ways to entice kids to eat "their" food, rather than bring from home.

Fast forward to my own five year old son, who has just finished kindergarten. The lunchroom ladies have been replaced with "servers" who just dish out the stuff that arrived on a truck that morning. The vegetables I learned to eat as a child were unrecognizable this year as I had lunch with my son. I have passed on broccoli stalks swimming in yellow cheese product, bloated soggy spaghetti, and even chicken nuggets that my son will not touch, even though that is his food of choice, when given a choice elsewhere.

I think the comment you made the other day about Ksears paying more attention to the customers who buy stock, than the customers who walk through the front door is applicable here. School nutrition programs should be delivered by people not trucks. Yes, I am knocking the fine people who prepare my son's lunches in a central kitchen. I want my child to learn math from a real live teacher in the classroom, and I want his nutritional upbringing to be reinforced by a real live person in the lunchroom, not a "server" who has no idea how the items were prepared.

Another MNB user chimed in:

Concerning school nutrition, it used to be about working hard to have healthy choices. Now-- we are far beyond that aspect and into controlling or banning certain items. This is tricky water to navigate for several reasons, one being that certain entities are now making choices for us. As you stated in your commentary, it's up to us as parents to manage certain issues. From what I can see, the public school system in this country has it's hands full with other, more pressing issues related to the education of our children now that they have done a good job providing nutritional choices. The pendulum always swings to extremes and is rarely in the middle this days.

MNB user Al Kober wrote:

Sounds a lot like prohibition, and that didn't 't work.

And still another member of the MNB community wrote:

Childhood obesity goes beyond what the children are eating. They need more than the 50 min. of gym they would get in school. How about a little less video games and more playing outside and taking walks? I still don't see how or why schools should have to take on the task of teaching these kids good habits. Good and bad habits start and end in the home.

Understand something. We’re not suggesting the schools should replace the parents. Far from it.

What we are saying is that as parents and taxpayers, maybe it makes sense to take greater control over what is being served in school cafeterias, and to make sure that the educational experience is extended to the lunch period.

This isn’t avoiding responsibility. This is exercising it.

Finally, another MNB user wrote:

I had to chuckle at your POV. In the next to the last paragraph you mention any number of initiatives that should serve our children well as they get older that will make them "MORE ROUNDED and educated human beings." Here I thought the whole point of this debate was to eliminate MORE ROUNDED human beings!!

We’ve got a million of them…

The other day we referred to the new Kmart-Sears combination as Ksears, to which MNB user John B. Lightfoot responded:

Interesting commentary re Kmart & Sears. But KSears? How do you pronounce Ksears? A bit of a hard to digest word, I'd say. Not very catchy.

Perhaps SMART or S-Mart brand would be more indicative of a new era for this joint partnership of the one-time industry BIG's. What say you?

It is indigestible.

Our point exactly.

Another MNB user wrote:

I would call it's just a question of what the "S" stands for...

We suspect that some old Kmart shareholders and employees may have some ideas about that…
KC's View: