If my memory serves me right, I remember soda machines being taken off campus at some point in my middle and high school education. Why? I thought. Kids that want soda probably have access to it at home, and, if their parents don’t keep it in the house, at this point in life they probably aren’t inclined to crave one at school.
Turns out my inclination was right. Children who are offered a ton of junk food options at school aren’t more overweight than children who aren’t, according to a new study published yesterday in an American Sociological Association journal.
“To the extent that the findings reported here
are robust to their limitations, they may prove disappointing
for those seeking to design school-based interventions to improve children’s health,” the authors wrote. “… The challenge is to develop interventions that reach into the home and community. Perhaps those interventions can start with schools, but they probably need to reach beyond them to be effective.”
By the time kids get to school, their parents have already instilled in them eating habits that will shape their health. So why don’t we stop blaming schools, and start teaching and modeling healthy behavior for our kids.