Some schools are banning cupcakes at grammar school birthday parties because of childhood obesity among American kids. Say again?
In one west coast county, a school district says birthdays can be celebrated without food. Huh? Or they can bring nutritious foods to stuff the faces of their classmates, like raw veggies. Oh, that’s fun. And very yuppie.
Texas has stepped up to the challenge by passing the “Safe Cupcake” amendment. It allows parents to keep their right to be parents and let their kids eat unhealthy birthday foods at school parties. Representative Jim Dunnam sponsored the legislation, a Democrat from Waco.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have produced statistics like 19 percent of pre-adolescent kids and 17 percent of adolescents were overweight in 2003-04. And there’s an increase in Type 2 diabetes in children. This is a very serious problem, but can it be remedied by banning the cupcake?
Understandably some schools have banned junk food-laden vending and soda machines in schools. Excessive sugar can not only lead to obesity, but can also make anybody’s body tired. This can disrupt study habits and even affect behavior in some kids. But how far should we go? And will this backfire? Isn’t there a saying that you want what you can’t have? If denied sweets at school for a birthday party, some adults are concerned that kids (and some parents) might rebel along the way.
Birthday parties at school are hardly the reason for childhood obesity. Most American adults can remember their own parties from grammar school, but that doesn’t mean they were obese kids. What about the hormones packed into our food supply? Certain celebs go so far as to say that it’s a money-making conspiracy to put chemicals into our food that make us fat-or at least that make us hungry so we’ll eat more and in turn buy more food.
There are other concerns. What about the parents who don’t get the memo? Will they be confronted and be sent back home with an explanation that their child can’t celebrate a birthday at school? Lawsuits may start to smell like cupcakes.
Trying to make everyone happy never works, yet there’s always someone or some institution who will try. Nonetheless, the controversy continues. Whether it works its way across the country is yet to be seen. Perhaps it already has. School administrators mean well, but the consequences could be more than they bargained for if traditional parents start to speak up against the ban. Is there a middle ground, like only wheat flour cupcakes can be used with sugar substitutes? Not really. Too many allergies come into play. Some private schools won’t even let parents make their own treats for fear of germ contamination.
Parents beware: ask what treats have been approved before your kid’s next school birthday party, just in case you didn’t get the memo.
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