I know it seems lately like The Lunch Tray is turning into “The Sid Miller Chronicles” but allow me just one more post (for now) on Texas’s new Agriculture Commissioner and his wrong-headed school nutrition policies.
For those of you just tuning in, this is the guy who, under the banner of “restoring local control” to school districts, recently lifted a ban on deep-fat fryers in our schools, unnecessarily “liberated” our birthday cupcakes, and axed our longstanding, common sense competitive food policies.
First, I want to applaud the Houston Chronicle for coming out strong against Miller in an op-ed appearing in today’s paper, written by its editorial board. Here’s an excerpt:
. . . our youths’ waistbands are already expanding at a fast clip. They don’t need any encouragement from our political leaders to disregard healthful nutrition.
In recent decades, obesity has tripled in children and quadrupled among adolescents in the U.S. In Texas, 16 percent of high school students were obese in 2013, compared to only 14 percent in 2005, according to theU.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among minority communities, obesity rates are even higher.
Yet for Miller, ending the ban is not about French fries or presumably health and nutrition; it’s about individual responsibility, freedom and liberty. Grand words for a policy that essentially champions the higher health-care costs associated with obesity.
You can read the full 0p-ed here.
Second, I want to share a new post from my colleague and fellow Texan Dan Taber, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health who specializes in childhood obesity policy research. In the post, Taber takes an important, wider-lens view of the Sid Miller problem — namely, the general disdain for science evinced these days by so many governmental officials and self-interested parties. Disregarding sound nutritional science has real and troubling implications for all of us, regardless of what state we live in, in that it may weaken the proposed Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and undercut our federal school food nutritional standards. Taber explains more fully in his post.
And, by the way, if you’d like to protest attempts to weaken the DGA, you can sign this petition from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and if you’d like to protest attempts to weaken school food standards, you can sign this one, also from CSPI.
Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join almost 10,000 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page, join 5,600 TLT followers on Twitter, or get your “Lunch” delivered right to your email inbox by subscribing to my posts. You can download my FREE 40-page guide to “Getting Junk Food Out of Your Child’s Classroom” and be sure to check out my free rhyming video for kids about processed food, “Mr. Zee’s Apple Factory!“