Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
OBESITY - LOCAL
Obesity is being hyped up by lawmakers everywhere, and they have many poor solutions with high costs. Here you will find better answers at lower costs. Local regulation provides the best opportunity to meet the needs and desires of the people in each community. Big state or national programs necessitate new or larger bureaucracies which will not appropriately address the needs and desires of the most people affected.
I propose first that fully operational water fountains which provide good tasting, chilled water be required within one rod (5 meters) of any vending machine selling soda, beer, sweet drinks, or any other liquid to be drunk by humans. This might cost schools and businesses some money, but it would surely permit thirsty students, employees, customers,and others to quench their thirsts without consuming any calories.
Next I wish to praise Mr. Cosmo Marabel who served as Principal of the Lincoln Bassett Elementary School in New Haven, Connecticut during the latter part of the twentieth century. His stated opinion was that no matter how nourishing healthy food might be, it wouldn't benefit the students who didn't . eat it. Public school food service workers are seldom gourmet chefs, and Mr. Marabel saw no good reason to put food on the students' plates that would probably be thrown away.
Hamburger (85%) or lean hot dogs served on buns baked from enriched flour are both healthy and good tasting (unless prepared by unqualified kitchen workers.) Fillets of several varieties of fish, roasted meats, popular vegetables, potatoes, and salads are some of the other foods that might go over well. Local control of the menu, and real chefs can offer good tasting, nourishing foods that students will eat and enjoy.
Obviously a chef in every school would be prohibitively expensive, but a consulting chef in a county might bring more nourishing and more appreciated food to the students without destroying the budget. Even home room teachers can ask students about the food served in the school cafeteria. Nourishing food is only nourishing if it is eaten.
The school boards might not know everything, but if nobody tells them, they probably will not know enough.
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.