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Good NutritionBegins At Home



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Good Nutrition

Begins At Home

To the Editor:

I want to commend The Newtown Bee for its perceptive editorial on school nutrition legislation entitled “Legislators Overreach at the School Lunch Table.” As a state senator and the father of three young children, I share many of the same concerns voiced in this editorial and voted against this bill on the floor of the Senate.

I believe the job of keeping our kids healthy begins at home, and like many parents, I find it inappropriate for the state to micromanage our children’s access to snack food. As parents, we can address the issue of school vending machines in a much more appropriate way than the state, by taking the time to discuss nutrition with our kids and setting the parameters we feel are best for their health.

Furthermore, this bill does next to nothing to curb obesity or encourage nutrition. Although it bans some soda, the bill still allows the sale of sugary juices and artificially sweetened soft drinks. Most importantly, the bill does nothing to address nutritional content of school lunches that often include such entrees as hamburgers, french fries, and fried mozzarella sticks. Eliminating soda may be a symbolic gesture, but in reality it will do little to fix the lifestyles that lead to obesity.

The better way to appropriately address these issues is to do exactly what the Board of Education in Newtown did recently when facing these same concerns — they worked with the school’s food vendor to eliminate those certain snacks and sodas they felt were inappropriate. This way of dealing with the problem allows parents to bring their concerns to the school board, and these issues can be sorted out according to the priorities of each community in the state.

I think we would all agree that this is a better and more effective solution to childhood obesity than passing intrusive mandates that step on the toes of parents by wrongly deciding that the state can do a better job of looking after our kids.

Senator John McKinney

Room 3400, Legislative Office Building, Hartford        June 1, 2005

Comments are open. Be civil.

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