N.J. bans soda, candy sales during school hours
- 06-08-2005, 11:32 AM
N.J. bans soda, candy sales during school hours
N.J. bans soda, candy sales during school hours
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
By KATHLEEN CARROLL
No more candy. No more soda. And lots of attention to things like trans fats.
New Jersey became the first state to announce a ban on soda and candy sales on campus during school hours, under regulations announced by acting Governor Codey on Monday. When the rules take effect in September 2007, other no-nos will include foods loaded with sugar or margarine, and oversize containers of whole milk.
"We've always prohibited carbonated beverages until the end of the last lunch period," said Kathy Kuser, director of the Division of Food and Nutrition at the state Department of Agriculture, which wrote the regulations. "This extends it to the entire academic school day."
More than one-third of all New Jersey students are overweight or obese, according to a 2004 state study.
"Schools must be a place where we teach good nutrition and lay the foundation for good eating habits," Codey said in a statement. "We will make our schools a national leader."
As the news spread across North Jersey high schools, students wondered aloud how they would survive a long school day without buying turbocharged snacks such as chocolate and cola.
"It's going to be a culture shock," said Tim Shine, 14, of River Vale, a freshman at the Bergen County Academy for Business and Finance in Hackensack.
"It's too idealistic a plan," said his classmate Janet Kim, 16, of Demarest. "People will just bring candy from home."
Outside Wayne Valley High School, students said the ban would have little effect on their eating habits.
"Kids will start cutting school and going across the street to get it there," said sophomore Marc Ficarra.
Under the Model School Nutrition Policy regulations, elementary school students can buy water, low-fat milk or 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices. The regulations are looser at middle and high schools, where some sports drinks are allowed. In all cases, bottles must contain 12 ounces or less - except for water.
Under the rules, students may bring any food or drink to school, and teachers may still purchase soda and candy in the faculty lounge. But the ban on sales extends from the cafeteria to the school store, vending machines and on-campus fund-raising activities - so no more candy fund-raisers during school.
The American Beverage Association, a soft-drink industry group in Washington, criticized the statewide move.
"These decisions should be made at the local level, not in Trenton," the group said in a statement provided by spokeswoman Tracey Halliday. "The beverage industry already provides a wide variety of beverage choices to schools, including bottled water, juice, juice drinks, sports drinks, zero- to mid-calorie soft drinks, teas and dairy-based beverages."
Students gradually are making healthier snack choices, said Mark Vidovich, president of Pomptonian Food Services in Fairfield, which manages school cafeterias for 28 districts throughout Bergen and Passaic counties. He said the regulations had been expected; in anticipation, his company has phased out many fried items and most candy bars.
"Local Boards of Education and parents have been interested in making nutritional improvements all along," he said.
Federal regulations on school lunches impose strict nutrition requirements in meals but leave snacks sold in vending machines and the school store virtually unregulated, said Joy Johanson, a senior policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a public health advocacy group based in Washington.
"We applaud the governor of New Jersey for taking this strong step," she said. "It's important that schools support parents' efforts to feed their children well."
Boards of education have allowed vending machines in public schools over the past decade, in part to raise funds. But many parents already have demanded they swap out the sweets for healthier fare.
Jeff Fischer, who serves on the Board of Education in Haledon and at Manchester Regional High School, said the new regulations probably wouldn't hurt finances in those districts - particularly because soda vending machines at the high school already are turned off during the school day.
"I don't see this as a big deal," he said. "On the cart at the grammar school [in Haledon], we took out all of the sugary items. Now it's just mostly [energy bars] and pretzels. All of the candy is out."
Legislators in New Jersey also have been debating limits on junk food in public schools. The state Assembly has passed a bill mandating that healthful snacks be sold in vending machines during school hours, and limiting sales of foods with "minimal nutritional value" until the last half-hour before the end of classes. The Senate version was released from the health committee last month.
"Children are clearly eating too much of the wrong thing, and it is affecting them in the wrong ways," said Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a Burlington County Democrat and physician who co-sponsored the bill. "The regulations and the bill support each other."
The new regulations require that schools have weekly classes on nutrition, in line with the state's 2004 Core Curriculum Content Standards. Carol Adelson, a Woodcliff Lake nutritionist who gives presentations on healthy eating in area schools, said students are shocked when she shows them a beaker full of sugar, and explains that it matches the amount in a can of soda.
"This should have been done so long ago," she said. "Where is there a better role model than in school? Seeing [junk food] in school, then they assume it's OK to eat it at home. This is sending such a powerful message if you give only healthy foods."
Staff Writers Robert Ratish and Catherine Holahan contributed to this article. |E-mail: [email protected]
- 06-08-2005, 01:43 PM
leave it to NJ to make another restricive law, i hate this freakin state.
but yes, this law isn't that bad since i remember being in school and see all the chunky kids emptying the candy machines. though it might stop the school from selling it the kids are still going to bring in candy from home and probably stock up thier lockers with the stuff, then sell it. im thinking way to much into this thing.
06-08-2005, 01:56 PM
Its up the parents to educate their kids on how to eat right and exercise. Its not the government's job. Jesus Christ. Why dont they ban teenage whores too.
06-08-2005, 02:04 PM
06-08-2005, 02:13 PM
personally i think this is loooooong over due... c'mon now, of course the parents need to educate their kids, but these are young kids, if they had their way they would eat NOTHING but CRAP...i know when I was younger there were many days i wasted my lunch money on cookies or ice cream or soemthing. You figure most kids probably don't eat much of a breakfast, then their one meal at school is a bunch of junk food....i commend them for the decision to ban **** like that.
06-08-2005, 02:28 PM
the thing is guys.. is this any different that any other ban that the government has come up with? Like someone said, we need to start teaching personal responsiblity and that begins with the parents... IT IS NOT government's place to raise kids or to tell an adult how to led there personal life..
06-08-2005, 02:35 PM
Removing sodas and candy from schools doesn't mean the govt is raising our kids. Schools should foster an environment that is conducive to learning and good health. By selling this kind of junk they are promoting its consumption. If parents want to stuff their kid with soda and candy they can pack it with the kids lunch on the way to school.
06-08-2005, 02:46 PM
Exactly, I don't look at this as the government "raising our kids".
They're not forcing you to eat or NOT eat anything specific, and even the article admits there are CLEAR flaws in the plan - such as kids bringing candy and soda from home or walking off school grounds to the local convenience store during lunch.
However, given the sad state most kids health is in these days, I believe the school have a responsibility to the public to NOT offer foods that are clearly unhealthy and have no nutritional value to these children.
Just cause you have a personal choice as to what you eat doesnt mean that the school should enable your making a bad decision.
06-08-2005, 02:53 PM
The law will be ineffective. The problem is that the government is raising the kids, and unless what they're teaching them changes whether or junk food is or isn't available at school will make little difference. What you can expect to see is that when the law doesn't really effect health statistics for over weight kids, there will be a tightening of the standards, and so on and so forth until you'll start seeing kids getting suspended for possesion of a candy bar or some other ridiculous nonsense.Originally Posted by ke0ki
I don't know how many failures it will take for people in general to learn that prohibitions don't work, but I'm still waiting and enjoying the idiotic consequences. First thing I always ask anyone who is pissed off when a person released from prison robs or otherwise assaults them or someone they know is: How many nonviolent drug offenders are in that prison, how much money does it take to keep them there, and would you rather that were spent on keeping dangerous people in prison? Lest you think the two issues are different, they are not. In all cases of prohibition penalties skyrocket and rules/laws get more and more restrictive and in the end the results are negligible, and the law of unintended consequences kicks in to high gear.
And of course now that there is some law of this nature on the books somewhere that restricts people's food based on whether or not the government thinks it's healthy for them, a flat out prohibition law, you can expect a snowball effect of more laws and precedents built upon those laws that will start to affect a lot more people than just the kids in schools. It's not stretch to see OSHA adopting similar standards for food available in the workplace.
06-08-2005, 02:56 PM
why not work with the school and the teachers that are responsible for educating the kids to make a change and explain to the kids and parents that are not involved directly with the change in vending machine policies. That would be a whole lot easier to get going in the right direction that this and as CDB said.. if they do it to the kids, who's next?
06-08-2005, 03:05 PM
Why not do both?Originally Posted by Matthew D
Of course, no one is saying that education isn't important and should always be used as a "first-line". However I also believe that you should practice what you preach. Don't tell me not to eat junk then put a machine right outside the classroom door that sells that very same junk. I think that would be hypocritical.
Also I think that comparing banning junk food sales in schools is the same thing as alcohol prohibition or a PH ban. Viewing that in the same light is an oversimplification of all three issues.
06-08-2005, 03:10 PM
Here come the political debates....
This is awesome IMO! I do understand that parents should be responsible for teaching their children right from wrong, but my main opinion is that there is no possible good that can come from a vending machine in a school.
06-08-2005, 03:21 PM
bottom line is kids will do what they want. Even if the parents are promoting healthy eating, do you really think kids will do this when they are "on their own" at school, with 2 bucks in their pocket?
I don't think this is the end all solution, to the increasing number of obese kids, and kids with diabetes, but it's definitely a step in the right direction, by at least acknowledging that all the sugar and trans fat consumption is harmful to the kids health.
ANd I know most of you probably bitched about the new food guide published this year which basically is still innacurate. We bitched that we wanted the government to lay it out more clearly and tell us what not to eat......I think taking this crap out of schools is a good sign to the kids of what NOT to eat. IF schools were to teach this type of thing in class rooms,(which they should), they would most likely go by what the FDA reccomnedations are which we all know isn't totally right on. It isn't right on because of the lobbyists who prevent the TOTAL TRUTH about their products (such as sugar manufacturers) from coming out into the public for fear of losing money. Same goes for parents, they would go by the information out there now.
I think we are looking at it differently b/c we happen to know how to REALLY eat..what to avoid, what to eat. You take the standard lay person, and they'll most likely be preaching wrong info. Coming out with something as strongly is this, sends a message....a good one i think.
06-08-2005, 03:32 PM
Oh I agree completely - there definitely shouldn't be junk food vending machines in schools. But kids need to be taught from day one *why* they shouldnt be eating crap, and the importance of regular exercise.
But it has to start with the parents. Considering more than half the adults in this country are overweight, that's a pretty scary notion, because they're passing those bad habits down to their childered. Ushering the epidemic of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. down to a new generation.
Taking that into consideration, maybe - by teaching kids the right way to eat at school, they can bring that home to their parents. In my first post I was just being a little silly - but in all seriousness...
It's OK that the government said 'no junk food' in schools. But that's not going to stop kids from eating it. Like someone mentioned above, if I was a kid in that school Id be comming to school with a book bag loaded with twinkies, auctioning them off to the highest bidder.
IMHO, the government should ban itself from banning stuff. It dosent do any good, if people REALLY want it, they'll find a way to get it. Education is the only key enlightenment, whether that's kids who stay off drugs or know how to eat right.
06-08-2005, 04:00 PM
I love this law. And I consider myself to be a Libertarian. It is, in its current state, a very Libertarian oriented law. Why? They aren't restricting ANYONE's rights except vendors. You see, schools are GOVERNMENT property. Thus, they can decide what they do or do not want to sell or provide to people on that property. If they choose not to seel candy or unhealthy foods, it is their right.
If students want to eat candy, then they will have to get it themselves instead of having the friggin government provide it at a discount or in some cases free of charge. This is actually shrinking government role in that it is a service they are no longer providing.
Will this have any effect on the health of students? Who cares. If they get fat, then at least now they can't blaim it on the school. In fact, this means they will have to go out of their way to specifically eat crappy food. So if kids get fat you can actually doubly blaim it on them because it meant they took an extra effort to become obese.
What I WOULDN'T be in favor of would be an outright ban of candy at all at schools; as in disallowing students from bringing their own. The reason being that is when it really does become a limitation of personal freedoms. Another thing though I think they need to do is remove the junk vendors from the faculty lounges as well. The government shouldn't be providing junk food to teachers either. If the teachers want junk, they should bring it themselves like the kids do.
06-08-2005, 04:04 PM
How do you think those prohibitions started? The prohibition of marijuana started with a tax (fat tax anyone?) that put the cost of growing/possesing it outside the reach of most people. It's the exact same thing and will have the exact same consequences. It's what happens when you try to make a thing illegal rather than a behavior. There is no difference between prohibitions of anything, be it drugs, food, guns or whatever. The process is the same, has the same flaws and the same consequences.Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
One thing no one mentioned yet: what about the two thirds of healthy kids who don't have a problem moderating their intake of crappy food? If some kid in good physical shape occasionally wants a Snickers, why shouldn't he be allowed to have it? This is one consequence of prohibition. You have a substance, whatever it may be. Some people use it to a point where it causes problems, others don't. You have a problem and a nonproblem population. However, when a law gets passed that targets all of the people who use there is no legal differentiation to be made anymore between responsible and irresponsible use.
There are a few consequences to this approach. One, inefficient use of resources. For example if cops were forced to target all people who drink rather than just drunk drivers (ie, during prohibition) what you end up getting is a proportional amount of the nonproblem population arrested, fined and imprisoned with the problem population. What this means is that resources were wasted locking up someone for having a drink but causing no problems that would have better been spent going after members of the problem population, like drunk drivers. With the schools you're going to see resources wasted trying to educate already healthy kids on the evils of junk food, and resources wasted on punishing already healthy kids for occasionally indulging (Snickers offenders), when that money would be better spent on educating the kids who have weight and other health problems related to poor diet.
Second but related, you see people punished unjustly. This is what happens when you take a behavior that is not inherently harmful or criminal and make it illegal. Once more to drinking, in and of itself it's not harmful. In moderation it actually has health benefits, in excess it is harmful. The use determines the effect. During prohibition people were locked up whose only crime was they wanted a drink every now and then. To go out and have a good time with friends and loosen up a bit. The law didn't make that distinction though. You will see similar results with these new school rules in NJ. As I said the ban will eventually lead to punishment for possesion of junk food; it wouldn't make sense not to punish possesion if selling it is bad and not allowed. Some idiot will come forward and say We need to send the RIGHT MESSAGE to the children, and that will be that. Then some otherwise healthy kid who only wanted a non-nonfat cheese string, or a yoohoo or a candy bar or something not perfectly nutritious, according to the state of course, as a snack will get nailed for it and end up in detention or suspended.
And three, the spiralling effect of the rules and the inefficient use of funds on nontargeted groups will lead to higher costs, which means more in taxes, which means more out of your pockets if you live in the state. It'd be all well and good if they just decided not to sell junk food, but no government official has ever let common sense stop them from royally ****ing things up. And that's where I think your biggest mistake is: in judging the motivations of the people behind the law. These people are not just saying they don't want to contribute to the unhealthiness of kids, they actively want to fight it. That is the motivation that will lead to the expansion and acceleration of the laws when this one is shown to be ineffective, and eventually to the results described above. For kids in public schools and pretty soon, if history is anything to judge by, for everyone else too.
06-08-2005, 04:14 PM
06-08-2005, 04:30 PM
I agree wholeheartedly, prohibition doesn't work. But this isn't prohibition, I don't understand how you don't see that. This is the government REMOVING a service it once provided.Originally Posted by CDB
They want a candy bar? Then they have to BRING IT THEMSELVES. No longer should the government hold the friggin kids hand and give handouts. Sorry, I don't want to pay taxes so the government can provide kids with candy. That's not the government's role and finally someone has realised this.One thing no one mentioned yet: what about the two thirds of healthy kids who don't have a problem moderating their intake of crappy food? If some kid in good physical shape occasionally wants a Snickers, why shouldn't he be allowed to have it? This is one consequence of prohibition. You have a substance, whatever it may be. Some people use it to a point where it causes problems, others don't. You have a problem and a nonproblem population. However, when a law gets passed that targets all of the people who use there is no legal differentiation to be made anymore between responsible and irresponsible use.
THEY AREN'T PUNISHING ANYONE!!There are a few consequences to this approach. One, inefficient use of resources. For example if cops were forced to target all people who drink rather than just drunk drivers (ie, during prohibition) what you end up getting is a proportional amount of the nonproblem population arrested, fined and imprisoned with the problem population. What this means is that resources were wasted locking up someone for having a drink but causing no problems that would have better been spent going after members of the problem population, like drunk drivers. With the schools you're going to see resources wasted trying to educate already healthy kids on the evils of junk food, and resources wasted on punishing already healthy kids for occasionally indulging (Snickers offenders), when that money would be better spent on educating the kids who have weight and other health problems related to poor diet.
Didn't you read it? They aren't banning anything. They are removing school subsidized vendors from campus who sell candy. So no longer will the school provide the students with vending machines, etc. Additionally, they didn't include anything about teaching kids healthy eating. This isn't an increased cost to the school. Some might argue there could be decreased revenue, but a school's job is to teach the students, it isn't to sell candy. If you want the government to sell candy, then petition for a government candy shop ... SEPERATE from the friggin schools.
Wow, you are making a gigantic logical leap here. To say this is going to lead to banning junk food on campus is preposterous. This is a very simple thing, a simple law that's only overhead is not renewing vendor contracts. Outright banning would require enforcement for one thing; that's costly and that's not something people will support when they see that cost.Second but related, you see people punished unjustly. This is what happens when you take a behavior that is not inherently harmful or criminal and make it illegal. Once more to drinking, in and of itself it's not harmful. In moderation it actually has health benefits, in excess it is harmful. The use determines the effect. During prohibition people were locked up whose only crime was they wanted a drink every now and then. To go out and have a good time with friends and loosen up a bit. The law didn't make that distinction though. You will see similar results with these new school rules in NJ. As I said the ban will eventually lead to punishment for possesion of junk food; it wouldn't make sense not to punish possesion if selling it is bad and not allowed. Some idiot will come forward and say We need to send the RIGHT MESSAGE to the children, and that will be that. Then some otherwise healthy kid who only wanted a non-nonfat cheese string, or a yoohoo or a candy bar or something not perfectly nutritious, according to the state of course, as a snack will get nailed for it and end up in detention or suspended.
I already stated why it won't lead to it. This law costs nothing. Banning junkfood would cost tens of millions if not more. Heck, people fought the inclusion of metal detectors in many crime-ridden inner city schools because of the cost. And that was a situation where kids were getting shot, stabbed, and beaten on a regular basis. Their LIVES were on the line. Do you honestly think people are going to want to spend as much or even MORE money to try to stop kids from eating junkfood? Get real.And three, the spiralling effect of the rules and the inefficient use of funds on nontargeted groups will lead to higher costs, which means more in taxes, which means more out of your pockets if you live in the state. It'd be all well and good if they just decided not to sell junk food, but no government official has ever let common sense stop them from royally ****ing things up. And that's where I think your biggest mistake is: in judging the motivations of the people behind the law. These people are not just saying they don't want to contribute to the unhealthiness of kids, they actively want to fight it. That is the motivation that will lead to the expansion and acceleration of the laws when this one is shown to be ineffective, and eventually to the results described above. For kids in public schools and pretty soon, if history is anything to judge by, for everyone else too.
You need to take your own advice here and stop trying to figure out the motivations of lawmakers and just look at the law at face value. Laws are specific, and exact, they make no distrinctions for special cases or circumstances. You said so yourself. This law revokes junkfood vendors' licenses for selling on school property. That's it. They removed a government service.
06-08-2005, 04:45 PM
, Nullifidian! You took the words right out of my mouth.
This can't be compared to other prohibitions because this does not bar the possession or non-school sanctioned sale of anything. It is simply a stance taken by the school that THEY will not provide these items.
Unlike alcohol, gun, marijuana, or AAS prohibitions this action taken by the school does NOT involve any taxes or punishment/fees for possession.
Also, the very basis of alcohol, gun, marijuana, and to an extent AAS bans were MORAL objections where people said that these things are WRONG and have NO PLACE in society. Basically calling use, sale, or possession a sin! Again, this action doesn't say you can't eat a Snickers. If you're fat you can still eat a candy bar. If you're skinny you can still eat a candy bar. Only difference - you won't be buying it from the school!
I'm actually kind of surprised that more people don't see this as being a good thing. I mean, it's not even just purely focused on sugar in the food but also trans fats as well. Who can argue that you should eat LESS of these fats?
I for one am glad that a politician has shown that he actually cares more about the public he's been put in place to serve rather than cave in to pressure from lobbyists.
06-08-2005, 05:00 PM
I was 6' tall 160 lb. senior. So banning candy and soda from me would be crazy. why not suspend me because my friend got in a fight.
06-08-2005, 05:05 PM
Dude, one more time - they're not banning ANYTHING from you. They're just not the ones SELLING IT to you.Originally Posted by wastedwhiteboy2
When I was in high school a hundred years ago I dont think we even had vending machines there anyway - just a mom & pop convenience store right next door. I don't see what these kids in the article are bitching about anyway how "they won't be able to make it through the day" without the soda and candy.
06-08-2005, 05:09 PM
Wait until that politician decides to show you how much he really cares about you and your kids. You guys are missing my point. Not giving candy to kids: good thing. If you honestly think it will stop at that I think you've got some serious rethinking to do. The point of the law is to keep kids healthier. When it doesn't accomplish that goal those politicians who care so much will propose another law. A more restrictive law. And when that doesn't work they're propose another, and another, and another... then they'll say Hey, maybe instead of not selling it we should actively ban it... That's not a logical leap, that's the way the US government operates. Once more, prohibitions of anything start the same and end the same, and the reasons behind them do not matter. The flaws in the process are the same no matter what. Am the only one who remembers schools going from banning toy guns to suspending kids for making believe their fingers are guns and playing cowboys and indians? Disagree with me, fine. We'll see where things are at a few years from now.Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
06-08-2005, 05:35 PM
CDB, I could be way off base but it looks to me at least like you have more of a problem with politicians and government than you do with the law they put in place.Originally Posted by CDB
Trust me man, I'm not a fan of government getting involved in peoples' everyday lives. I'm a gun owner living in Jersey and it sucks. To me this isn't like saying that I can't own a gun though - it's more like saying I can't buy a gun from a government owned organization.
Not the best analogy, I know, but all I'm saying is that when you look at THIS PARTICULAR LAW at face value, without trying to read 20 years into it, I think it's a good thing.
Be cool bro, I'm out for the day.
06-08-2005, 08:07 PM
How can the parents educate there own children when they dont know the first thing about nutrition, except the atkins diet. It was a good decision in my book.
06-08-2005, 08:11 PM
Sort of. The law is the tangible result of everything I hate about government and politicians. It's all the same to me. The politicians make the laws, hate one or the other, or both and it's the same thing.Originally Posted by BigP0ppa3
20 years in is what matters. Look at it this way, what do they have to gain by not expanding the law? Nothing. No politician or political appointee ever made a career by not 'doing something' as most people say. Regardless of the issue, people always want the government to 'do something' about it, and the government is happy to deliver. Consider this too, why pass a law? Why couldn't they just take out the machines and leave it at that? Because by their very nature they want to be proactive, which is why it won't stop there.Trust me man, I'm not a fan of government getting involved in peoples' everyday lives. I'm a gun owner living in Jersey and it sucks. To me this isn't like saying that I can't own a gun though - it's more like saying I can't buy a gun from a government owned organization.
Not the best analogy, I know, but all I'm saying is that when you look at THIS PARTICULAR LAW at face value, without trying to read 20 years into it, I think it's a good thing.
Your analogy is good. What you need to realize is that almost no one in the US really believes in private property anymore. It is decidedly not your right to engage in business as you see fit in your own privately owned store. Almost everyone thinks, wrongly, that providing a product or a service immediately means you're somehow serving the public, and are thus subject to a plethora of rules and regulations as to what you can and can't sell, what services you can and can't provide and who you must do business with even if you prefer not to associate with them. There is no big logical leap from this law to banning junk food. Every law leads to more laws to further the spirit of the original. No government agency shrinks, no legislation gets simpler with time.
So it's 'do something' about the pot smokers I don't like, 'do something' about the vile color my neighbor painted his house, 'do something' about all those dangerous steroid users, 'do something' about the potholes in the road, etc. And now the stage is set for 'doing something' about all the fat kids. Maybe I'm too cynical, but no law should just be taken at face value, and every law, even passive ones like this, cost something to enforce. I'd rather they just shut the hell up and got out of the business of raising peoples' kids for them anyway.
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