And with his Catsup madate, Reagan indirectly funded John Kerry's White House run!
Concerning this craze to slap Ronald Reagan's name on everything possible (National Airport in DC, etc.), I think we ought to name MORE things after him: the Ronald Reagan national debt, the Ronald Reagan Arms-for-Hostages deal, the Ronald Reagan set up Ollie North as a patsy to lie to Congress stooge, the Ronald Reagan homelessness crisis (he deinstitutionalized the sanitaria), the Ronald Reagan AIDS crisis (choking off funding in the formative years of the plague), and the list goes on and on.
"In 1981, Ronald Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, proposed classifying ketchup as a vegetable as part of Reagan's budget cuts for federally financed school lunch programs (it would make it cheaper to satisfy the requirements on vegetable content of lunches). The suggestion was widely ridiculed and the proposal was killed.")
I remember that very well--I was in early elementary school, and my parents were FURIOUS about that proposal. It was the family joke after awhile. As a matter of fact, it is a family joke to this day.
I do agree that this cutting out the fat from school diets is a good idea. An exercise component is a good idea too, but this is a start.
We spend the most as percentage of GDP on health care of any industrialzied nation and yet have the unhealthiest population (highest infant mortality rate, lowest life expectancy, hightest incidents of heart disease, cancer, pobesity, etc) One reason why is a lack of preventative care. Diet and exercise are key components to good health care and we as a country are horrible about that. I am glad to see someone doing something about it.
So yes, even Republicans can come up with some good ideas from time to time. :)
WhoMe, years ago I worked as a programmer on nutrition research projects, government and private, for quite a few years. That doesn't give my opinion any more authority in this matter, but it may have given me more opportunity to observe how interventionist nutrition programs work, or rather, don't work.
What people eat is, to a large extent, a product of the culture in which they grow up. If that culture tends toward fat-heavy, calorie-laden foods, you have a very small chance of influencing individuals to change their diets completely.
Moreover, most schools typically serve kids one meal a day, possibly two in some cases. Any serious changes in a child's intake must happen at home.
Though I am an ovo-lacto-vegetarian who watches his intake pretty actively with an eye toward better health, I oppose this initiative... not because I think nutrition should be ignored, but because I think the program will be ineffective and invasive. There are things the government just can't do effectively. Modifying someone's diet is one of those things.
Of course, a meal or two at school is not going to change a child's eating habits completely if he gets no direction at home, but it is a start. Better a little bit than nothing at all.
I do not quite understand your rationale, because if one extends it to education as a whole, we should not teach anything to our kids in school if they come from a background that does not support / reinforce learning at home, and we should just give up on the kid at school because he will not have the lessons "sink in." (I am not trying to be a smart-ass and hope it does not come across that way. I just think that a little bit is better than nothing).
While I do not have the background in nutrition that you do (and certainly not as of good eating habits as you do), I do have somewhat of an experience in this issue. I went to a private school that had a nutritionist in charge of the meal preparation. There were no deep fried foods, no soft drinks, even the hamburgers were largely soy. Until our senior year, there were no snack machines on campus, and they were only available to seniors. It was a good experience and it probably kept most of us students from having worse eating habits. Certainly, none of us every saw it as invasive. I have no problems with preventing a child or teenager from eating unhealthy food while at school. In fact, they ought to pull the candy and coke machines while they are at it. (Of course, I doubt the schools would - they get revenue from sales and possibly even the advertising space)
Just my two cents worth.
Keep eating healthy
"Moreover, most schools typically serve kids one meal a day, possibly two in some cases. Any serious changes in a child's intake must happen at home."
Sometimes, that one meal a day is all the children get. I went to school with some very poor kids, and they deserve a healthy, large meal. School meals are less substantial than they should be. Someone has to watch out for the kids' diets if their parents cannot do it for some reason.