Monday, September 25, 2023

Tech Limits Fats, Targets Obesity – 6.28.2006

By Al Campbell

CREST HAVEN — It wasn’t a debating club topic: “How do you attempt to enforce wellness?”
It was raised at the Technical School Board of Education’s June meeting by member Arthur Cornell as he read the proposed five-page policy “Wellness and Nutrition.”
“Judiciously,” wryly replied Superintendent William Desmond.
“This is an awful lot of stuff. It seems mind boggling,” Cornell added, as if staring at a massive seafood platter.
Cafeteria staff and Nutriserve, the food-service firm hired to oversee the district’s food program, “are aware of this,” said Assistant Superintendent Dolores Lawrie-Higgins.
“How it will translate in the cafeteria lines and students’ reaction,” said Desmond, is another matter.
 “The goal is laudatory: healthier students. Overkill might be the word,” he added.
“Everything in there is mandatory,” said Lawrie-Higgins.
“If you think this is difficult, the elementary schools are having a much more difficult time,” added board member Albert Monillas, county superintendent and assistant commissioner of education.
The new policy promises that students will have “opportunities, support and encouragement” to be physically active on a regular basis.
Foods and drinks sold in the school will meet USDA nutrition standards for National School Lunch, School Breakfast and After School Snack programs.
The district will provide nutrition education and physical education to “foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity.”
Beginning in September 2007, all snacks and beverages sold on the school property, whether in cafeteria, by vending machine in school stores, or fundraisers will meet the following standards:
• No more than eight grams total fat per serving, excepting nuts and seeds.
• No more than two grams of saturated fat per serving.
• Beverages will not exceed 12 ounces, except water and milk with 2 percent fat.
• Whole milk will not exceed eight ounces.
• At least 60 percent of drinks offered, other than milk and water, will be 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.
* No more than 40 percent of ice cream or frozen desserts will be allowed to exceed standards for sugar, fat and saturated fat.
It is recommended that physical education or recess be scheduled before lunch, when possible.
Curriculum will include nutrition education and physical activity when possible.
The superintendent is tasked to provide “bioinsecurity” of the school’s food service.
Exceptions include food and beverages served during special school celebrations, before and after school activities or during curriculum related activities.
Additionally, the policy will not apply to special needs diets.
Reason for the proposed policy, likely to be adopted at the July 18 board meeting at 1 p.m., is, according to its fifth page, “Obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity.
“…Major risk factors for those diseases (heart, cancer, stroke and diabetes,) for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood.”
It also cited items commonly sold in school vending machines, snack bars and school stores such as low-nutrition foods and drinks such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies and snack cakes.
Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or:

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