There was an article in the New York Times this weekend about a NYC mom who has gone batshit crazy about snacks given to kids in school She claims to be crusader against childhood obesity and diabetes. At first when I opened the link, I thought it was going to be something I was going to rally behind. I think there’s a lot of reform to be had in regard to school lunches and physical education and their effect on our current generation of kids. Instead, I left thinking that this woman was a complete and utter whack job.
It’s not the high calorie school lunches she’s so upset about. On a side note, school lunches can often equal a full days worth of calories, which is a big part of what I think needs to be reformed. That, along with the fact that they’re using terrible grade food which I think is all sorts of bad for growth and development. Back to her: she’s against, not the school lunches and the lack of PE kids are exposed to, but birthday cupcakes, ice cream parties, and Valentine’s Day candy.
MeMe Roth, the mother in question, says she’s all sorts of crusading against childhood obesity, I think she’s a crusader for crazy. Personally, I don’t think the occasional treat is what is making kids obese. If nothing else, I’m afraid what she’s doing is creating disordered eating behavior in her own children. Constantly hearing mommy rant about how you’re going to be obese if you eat a cupcake does not a healthy relationship with food make.
I’m all for raising your kids however you deem fit, but the problem with this scenario is that she’s trying to take over her children’s school and socializing environments like the YMCA. Roth worked out some sort of system with her kids that if a goodie was given in class they would bring it home then she would decide if they could eat it or not. While I think this probably made the kids feel all sorts of left out, I think it works for their particularly child rearing philosophy. But, her tune changed when her daughter was upset she wasn’t allowed to bring an ice-pop home. Now she’s calling for a school wide makeover, preventing candy from ever being given to kids, cupcakes to be banned unless a permission slip is signed. At one point, the police were called to confront Roth after she stole the sprinkles and syrups meant as toppings for a local YMCA ice cream social, being thrown for the kids. Seriously?
I admit I don’t have kids. I believe that healthy eating habits start at home, but so do disordered eating habits. I feel pretty confident that the school district has written this woman off as a whack job. I don’t think that vending machines should be in schools, but I do believe that a treat now and then to celebrate a holiday or birthday is part of creating a healthy relationship with food. There is a time and a place for indulging and I’m pretty sure the birthday brownies or Halloween candy I had in school was not responsible for my weight issues as an adult. Even as a kid, I knew those were treats.
While I appreciate and back her cause, I think she’s gone off the deep end. Life would be no fun without something to celebrate and yes, we celebrate with food. Food is good, food is fun, food is something to be enjoyed not put in a box to be inspected later and deemed fat making or okay to eat.
Thoughts? Am I over sensitive or is there a right to privacy when it comes to food?