- Parent Teacher Association, Superintendents, Board of Ed.
- United States of America
There are strict health and sanitary standards in place to protect our children’s diet and health in school. Many sugary drinks and foods are banned from the cafeteria. The preparation and ingredients of food must be up to code. But there is a loophole. There are absolutely no restrictions on outside food. As parents, it is difficult to know if our children are eating right if we don’t know what they’re eating. When we don’t know how or when it was prepared, what ingredients were used or the nutritional information.
But how much outside food are they eating?
As you know a child may have 20 or so friends in a class, each with a birthday celebration where they bring in some kind of treats. At first it doesn’t seem like a lot of cupcakes or donuts, but the FDA says a child should only have a maximum of 24g of sugar a day. A cupcake has 20. Trying to keep the rest of their meals under 4 grams is not possible. So on those days they will have excess sugar. Which is ok from time to time. Everything in moderation, right?
But sometimes kids have two cupcakes or donuts or cookies or all three. Sometimes more. No one is policing their caloric intake. And most of the time they celebrate that same child’s birthday outside of school, adding another slice of cake or ice cream, or both. Then there are other factors. Some classrooms actually have baking homework. So every school day a child or two is bringing in sugary baked goods like cookies or cupcakes for the class. Then there are field days, academic celebrations and dances with lots of available junk food. There are holiday centers where children build snowmen out of marshmallows, jellybeans, sprinkles and M&M's and then eat them. The grams of sugar the children consume on school grounds adds up. With 3,500 calories equalling a pound of fat, how many pounds of fat does Harrison Central School District gain per year as a direct result?
So there’s that. The pure calorie equation against the backdrop of what we know about the incidence of obesity and diabetes skyrocketing in children. Secondly, many parents would like to have their children abstain from the sugar but have chosen not to, due to the negative psychological effect of leaving them out of the group. And third, given what we know about sugar, brain energy metabolism, and its ability to significantly slow down synaptic activity, we cannot expect the children to learn after a bolus of sugar. There are quite a few peer-reviewed research papers that show a child on sugar is compromised academically.
Sky-rocketing diabetes, obesity, negative psychological effects and compromised academics. Given those facts about sugar in school, can we really make an argument IN FAVOR of distributing sugary treats in school?
Currently there is no plan to address or limit sugar. This petition is the first step in an attempt to change that.
Join us in urging urging the principal, the PTA, the Superintendent and the district et al. to reconsider the current stance to better align with what is best for the children academically, physically and psychologically.
We urge the Harrison Central School District to not only restrict the distribution and consumption of outside foods, but also educate the children on the dangers of excess sugar consumption.
The Stop Sugar in School petition to Parent Teacher Association, Superintendents, Board of Ed. was written by Peter Unger and is in the category Education at GoPetition.