Texas Puts Deep Fat Fryers Back in Schools
Stirring politics into obesity leads to some remarkable decisions. So it is in Texas where Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller saw a pressing political need to put deep fat fryers back into schools. Announcing the end of a statewide ban on deep fat fryers, Miller was spinning it out as a “fresh approach” to combat child obesity. He said:
We want to stop creating healthy trash cans. We must encourage kids to stop throwing away their meals because with them goes taxpayer dollars. Instead, we want all schools to employ best practices to create and serve healthy meals that kids actually want to eat.
He’s probably right. If deep fat fryers return to school cafeterias, maybe kids will eat more and stop throwing all that supposedly healthy food away. How healthy can it be if kids aren’t cleaning their plates and going back for seconds. Sheesh!
Apparently the American Heart Association (AHA) — headquartered in Texas — doesn’t understand. AHA issued a statement noting that most parents support keeping fried foods out of schools and saying:
Commissioner Miller’s attempt at addressing childhood obesity is well-intentioned, but it fails to align with evidence-based policies that are supported by the AHA and have been a main component in reversing this epidemic such as keeping fried foods and sodas out of reach from our children.
The San Antonio Express-News recognized Miller for being innovative, saying:
This may be the first plan to combat obesity that comes with a side of fries. Way to go Sid Miller!
This move is a natural for Miller. His first official act as agriculture commissioner in January was to declare a “cupcake amnesty” — encouraging parents to bring cupcakes to school for parties.
Honest. We’re not making this up.
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