The nutrition Nazis just don’t get it.
The Government has not made pie-eating – or gluttony – compulsory for school children.
It has simply scrapped a daft regulation requiring the availability of nothing but “healthy” food options for sale in schools.
It regards these – and rightly so – as unnecessary and a bureaucratic burden.
The scrapping of the lard laws gives school boards of trustees the freedom to make their own decisions about what are appropriate foods and drinks.
It does not permit them to advocate, preach or champion the spawning of a nation of Billy Bunters.
National has scrapped Labour’s regulation that required food and drink sold at state and state-integrated schools to be “only healthy options”.
But schools must still promote healthy food and drink.
Government guidelines on the regulation, which took effect last June, meant schools could sell “occasional foods” like sausage rolls, chocolate or deep-fried foods only once a term.
That led to widespread tuckshop changes and restrictions on fundraising – ignored by some – with sausages.
This was bollocks. How on earth was the Government going to establish whether schools had sold sausage rolls, chocolate or deep-fried foods just once a term.
Education Minister Anne Tolley was quoted in the Dom-Post as saying the guideline, introduced last year, had caused confusion about what could be sold at school fundraisers.
“There was a great deal of angst about things like, when you’re having a school gala, can you have a sausage sizzle on site, can you lay down a hangi?”
It was up to parents and students to make decisions about healthy food, Mrs Tolley said.
“It’s not teachers’ responsibility to act as food police.
“If we want to start changing behaviour, that’s got to start happening at home.”
The usual suspects from the misery-mongers are wailing their protests.
Obesity Action Coalition executive director Leigh Sturgiss said it was counterintuitive that schools were required to promote healthy eating, but able to sell junk food at tuck shops.
Green MP Sue Kedgley said removing the guideline was “astonishingly stupid”. Most schools had accepted it and were starting to see positive changes, which would now be reversed.
How does she know that?
As the Herald noted –
The ERO has not yet actually checked schools’ performance, but of those it has asked, 90 per cent of primary schools and 97 per cent of high schools said they had complied.
Why should this be reversed if the healthy food regime is as sensible is Kedgley insists it is? Does she have no confidence in the people who run our schools?
As it turns out –
… principals who spoke to The Dominion Post yesterday said they did not plan to put junk food back on tuck-shop menus now that the ban had been lifted.
Wellington East Girls’ College principal Sally Haughton said she had been sceptical when the guideline was brought in but it had had a positive effect. “We certainly won’t be rolling back [changes].”
Wellington College deputy principal Dave Ashby said he was pleased that more control had been handed back to school boards, but said the college would probably keep its new healthy menu.
“Schools have got a responsibility to young people. I don’t think we’re going to chuck it all in now.”
Another thing: does this mean the Govenrment is abandoning the war against obesity?
Health Minister Tony Ryall tells us the Government is working on other measures to tackle the issue – a greater emphasis on physical activity.
National relies on education to change individuals’ attitudes, see.
Labour and the Greens nurture the Nanny state and prefer forcing a change of attitudes.
First they would ban pies, deep-fried foods and chocolate.
Next they would be banning bread and butter.
Before we knew what had happened, our kids would be reduced to a diet of lettuce and muesli.
Reduced by the diet, too, come to think of it.
You could forget about the Rugby World Cup ever being won by All Blacks raised on that sort of fodder.