business news in context, analysis with attitude

Reuters reports that “junk food may soon be hard to buy at American public schools as the US government readies new rules requiring healthier foods to be sold beyond the cafeteria - a move most parents support, according to a poll released on Thursday.

“With childhood obesity rising, the survey found most people agreed the chips, soda and candy bars students buy from vending machines or school stores in addition to breakfast and lunch are not nutritious, and they support a national standard for foods sold at schools.”

According to the story, “Eighty percent of the 1,010 adults polled said they would support nutritional standards limiting the calories, fat and sodium in such foods. Seventeen percent would oppose it. Most also agreed there are now few healthy options. Just 5 percent of adults said vending machines offered totally or mostly healthy choices compared with 10 percent for school stores and 21 percent for a la carte lunch lines.”
KC's View:
As the story notes, “Changes to school foods may be controversial. New standards for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in traditional school meals announced in January drew scrutiny when lawmakers blocked limits to french fries and counted pizza as a vegetable because it contains tomato sauce.” So no matter what the survey says (and I’m sure that there will be other surveys that will suggest that national standards represent an inappropriate government intrusion), there will be political reasons that some in Congress will not want to go along.

I actually don’t care about the survey results. From my POV, it seems entirely reasonable to me, since we have tax dollars finding school lunches anyway, to use those tax dollars only to buy healthy foods. It seems entirely unreasonable to me to spend them buying some of the slop currently served in a lot of schools.