Monday, October 02, 2006

Cupcakes Protected by Texas Legislature

"The right to dispense sugar and processed foods being necessary to classroom control and thus a stable society, Congress shall pass no law abridging the rights of parents and teachers to use cupcakes as rewards."

--Amendment 2a (comes right after the thing on guns; Civics Fer Dummies)

From the LA Times (requires free registration)

Sorry, Cupcake, You're Not Welcome in Class

The Texas Legislature last year passed the so-called Safe Cupcake amendment, which guarantees parents' right to deliver unhealthful treats to the classroom — such as sweetheart candies on Valentine's Day and candy corn on Halloween. Rep. Jim Dunnam sponsored the legislation after a school in his district booted out a father bringing birthday pizzas to his child's class.

"There's a lot of reasons our kids are getting fat," said Dunnam, a Democrat from Waco. "Cupcakes aren't one of them."

Whether cookies, cakes and other birthday treats at school are the culprits or not, however, the nation's children are definitely packing on the pounds.

Nearly 19% of children ages 6 to 11 and more than 17% of adolescents ages 12 to 19 were overweight in 2003-04, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Extra weight carries added health risks, as seen in the increasing childhood diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes, once considered an adult disease.
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Although nutritionists endorse promoting healthful eating in schools, some question the logic of making any popular food taboo.

"The more you restrict these special foods — cakes or sweets or whatever — they become even more valued by children. It can almost kind of backfire," said Dr. Nancy Krebs, co-chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Obesity. "You want to have a kind of pragmatic approach that sweets and desserts are OK in moderation and not put them up on a pedestal.
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In August, the district board decided to ban selling unhealthful food from vending machines and prohibit teachers from dishing out candy as a reward. But it granted a reprieve to birthday cupcake parties and cheese-dripping nachos at football games.

"They're trying to appease everyone," complained Noelani Sallings, who has two daughters in the district and is running for the school board in November. "American waistlines are getting larger and larger."
OK. Cupcakes aren't evil. But using food as a reward is bad parenting and bad teaching. We're giving in to laziness and B.F. Skinner. Liberals ought to oppose the "cupcake as reward" on nutritional grounds; conservatives should rail against the brainwashing. If you saw the crap that kids eat at school, what we sell them out of the vending machines to fund club activities, what they choose to buy in the cafeteria, you would want to blow up the cupcakes too I believe.