School Food Statism Makes Kids Sick

by Katy Grimes | July 18, 2011 8:54 am

JULY 18, 2011

With many public schools now feeding children breakfast and lunch, and even forbidding parents to send homemade lunches to school for their children, it is obvious that the state has decided that it is a better parent.


Many school principals say they are encouraging “healthier choices” and claim they are trying to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices, while making an impact that extends beyond the classroom.

But many parents are not happy and are rebelling.

This totalitarian control over students’ diets, which really only seems to be benefiting the school food service providers, is not the role of the state, nor a part of the education plan.

But it is part of statists’ agenda.

Another Statist Agenda

A recent essay[2] in the Journal of the American Medical Association argued that in extreme cases of obesity, state intervention is needed to save the lives of fat children. The “experts” recommended that obese children should be taken from parents and placed in foster families.

The essay, written by Dr. David Ludwig and Lindsey Murtagh, said that temporarily removing children from the custody of their parents and placing them in foster care is more ethical than surgery as a strategy for fighting life-threatening complications arising from obesity.

Ludwig is an obesity specialist at the Harvard-affiliated Childrens Hospital Boston, and Murtagh is a lawyer and researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Teachers, educators, researchers, lawyers and Harvard doctors have decided that they are better equipped to parent America’s kids.

Too many American dimwits have been lauding First Lady Michelle Obama for her “Let’s Move” initiative aimed at combating obesity. But I think she needs to butt out, and worry about her own family’s weight and eating habits. Obama is hardly a healthy vegan, and rarely is she the picture of how to eat.

Ironically, many of the people making these decisions on behalf of the state are also overweight.

“Inadequate or unskilled parental supervision can leave children vulnerable” to these obesity-causing influences, wrote Ludwig and Murtagh.

And I have yet to read an explanation of what constitutes a “skilled parent.”

State intervention already occurs in many areas, beginning with state-run schools. Teachers claim to advocate for “healthier choices,” but have been caught assisting young girls seeking birth control pills or even abortions in some cases, instead of involving parents.

The leftist agenda is full of holes and is not at all about healthy lifestyles or caring for children.

Teachers already report parents to Child Protective Services for neglect and abuse, but the state meddling is extending to far too many areas of parenting.

Schools long ago sold out decent lunches for profit motives. When I was growing up in the 1960’s, my neighborhood public elementary school had a cook who made hot lunches in the school’s kitchen. From our classrooms we could smell the bread baking every day. It was a treat to be able to buy an occasional hot lunch, as my parents made me bring my lunch from home most days.

But by the 1990’s, when my son was in elementary school, the schools were trucking in Taco Bell and McDonald’s for meals. So he too brought his lunch from home. I wouldn’t let him eat at the school.

Even today, the supposed “healthy” school lunches are frozen foods, pre-packaged and usually taste like cardboard. Kids throw most of the food away.

State Lunch Program

The California School Lunch Program[4] and the State Meal Programs are child nutrition programs funded by the State of California. The programs provide money to public school districts that serve “nutritious” meals, free or at a reduced price, to “needy children.” The program is administered by the California Department of Education.

While this may sound sincere, the meal programs at schools are feeding far more kids than just the needy children. Lazy parents of all social and economic classes are regularly dropping kids off at school in the morning for a free meal, and partaking in the free lunch programs.

Is it any wonder children are obese? Parents don’t prepare meals.

It doesn’t take a registered dietician to know what a healthy meal is, or if a child has a weight problem.

And schools are a big part of the problem. School physical education programs and recess activities have been greatly limited thanks to lawyers. Monkey bars, dodge ball and other physical recess games are no longer allowed. And because so many female teachers complained about sweaty, smelly children in the classroom after recess and PE, programs have been cut.

A lack of PE and outdoor playtime during the school day have coincided with the increase in the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder. Kids just don’t get to blow off enough steam — particularly little boys. Many teachers prefer that parents medicate their boys instead of running them ragged in sports or physical play during the school day.

Many parents are rebelling against statist schools and reminding teachers and administrators who the rightful parent is, as well as reminding them of the correct role of schools.

But with lawmakers continuing to intervene, crowding out parents with increasing anti-parent laws, it feels as if we are all becoming wards of the state. In California “Mother may I?” will soon be replaced with “Governor may I?”

— Katy Grimes

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