As part of a plan to combat childhood obesity, Texas schools are once again allowing deep fryers and soda machines, KUT (Austin) is reporting.
And if the phrases “combat childhood obesity” and “allowing deep fryers and soda machines” in the same sentence doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is in charge of nutrition in schools. He’s outlined a five-point plan to address the issue of childhood obesity in Texas’ public schools — a plan that, perhaps ironically, allows for the re-introduction once-prohibited soda machines and deep fryers into schools. Miller wants to be clear on one thing: his plan allows soda machines and deep fryers. It doesn’t mandate them.
“We’re just saying if you want [a deep fryer], go get one. I’d be surprised if there’s a dozen schools [that] put in deep fryers. One thing, we’re not going to give them any money. They’re going to have to go buy those.”
The foundation of Miller’s plan to combat childhood obesity involves giving schools control over their cafeterias — control that, he says, has been taken from them by federal guidelines championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. Those guidelines have, in some cases, resulted in disgusted children throwing their lunches away or, in other cases, going home hungry from the meager offerings considered “healthy.”
“What we have been doing to fight childhood obesity for the last ten years has not solved the epidemic in Texas, and in fact, it’s gotten worse. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Here at the Texas Department of Agriculture, we are taking a fresh approach. We want to stop creating healthy trash cans. We must encourage kids to stop throwing away their meals because with them goes taxpayer dollars. Instead, we want all schools to employ best practices to create and serve healthy meals that kids actually want to eat.”
If that means that deep fryers and soda machines return to Texas schools, then so be it.
The rest of Miller’s plan involves educating Texas kids about making healthy food choices, increasing farm-to-table school lunch programs, and creating a Farm Fresh Friday program that puts farm-fresh food onto cafeteria trays.
“We are working to put an end to a one-size-fits-all approach mandated from Austin. We want families, teachers and school districts to know the Texas Department of Agriculture supports their decisions and efforts to teach Texas students about making healthy choices. What works well in Dallas might not work in the Rio Grande Valley, and what works well in Lufkin might not work as well in Lubbock. Our new nutrition policy promotes individual responsibility, freedom and liberty.”
Do you think forbidding soda machines and deep fryers from public schools actually helps combat childhood obesity? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu]