May 7, 2013 |
Proposed legislation to remove junk food and sugar-loaded drinks from vending machines at California state office buildings and on government property is intensifying debate about when the battle against obesity becomes a gateway to "nanny state" tactics. Backers of the Assembly bill, AB 459, said California shouldn't condone the sale of fatty snacks and sodas in the workplace when taxpayers are already shelling out vast amounts to cover the healthcare costs of overweight government employees.
September 20, 2005
The governor has signed a ban on junk food in schools (Sept. 16) -- well done! During the several years I worked with the L.A. County nutrition task force, we were never able to come close to that. It will be a boon for education and a boost for test scores when corpulent kids no longer sit stupefied at their desks, their brains addled by the toxic concoctions pushed by the processed-foods industry. RICHARD P. HUEMER MD Palmdale
February 25, 2011 |
Let's call it what it is: a sin tax. A California lawmaker is targeting the obesity epidemic with a tax that would slap a penny-an-ounce levy on drinks sweetened with sugar or corn syrup. The food industry, not surprisingly, has squared off against the idea, arguing that the tax bill is a punitive assault on personal choice. "The government doesn't have the right to social engineer," said J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the industry-backed Center for Consumer Freedom.
February 6, 2012 |
Think your kid isn't tempted by junk food while at school? A study finds that about half of kids surveyed from public and private school had ready access to vending machines, snack bars, school stores and a la carte lines. And they're not just selling carrot sticks. The study, released Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine , looked at the foods children had access to at various spots on campus during lunch time, in what they termed "competitive venues. " Researchers surveyed children at 2,647 public elementary schools and 1,205 public elementary schools from 2006 to 2010.
June 26, 2012 |
In written testimony to Congress, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said the satellite broacaster's controversial new commercial-skipping feature will help protect children from the marketing efforts of the fast food and alcohol industries. Called the "AutoHop," the feature on Dish's digitial video recorders allows its subscribers to avoid commercials on recorded shows from broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Although consumers can already fast-forward through commercials on recorded shows, the AutoHop has caused concerns for the networks because it goes a step further.
June 29, 2010 |
What to do about the obesity epidemic? Here's a thought: Substitute "tobacco" for "junk food." That provides a pretty clear road map about what government authorities should be doing to safeguard public health. Unfortunately, officials are instead just reheating the same old leftovers. Dietary guidelines issued recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture basically say Americans need to ease up on the salt, sugar and saturated fats, and instead eat more fruits and veggies.
October 19, 2008
I was delighted to see a feature on Josh Brolin's career advances and upcoming films ["Taking a Run at President," by Robert Abele, Oct. 12]. I am eagerly anticipating both "W." and "Milk." However, I was dismayed to see that the writer fell into the long-established trap of misrepresenting Dan White's attorneys' strategy as "the Twinkie defense," as it is nothing more than an urban legend. The fact is that the Twinkie defense was coined by the media and used by the public to express their anger and disbelief that White could be acquitted of the crime he so obviously and purposely committed.
September 3, 2010
For many students, “back to school” means back to a vending machine diet. As you might guess, this isn’t necessarily a good thing for student health. Vending machines are found in 16% of U.S. elementary schools, 52% of middle schools and 88% of high schools. About 22% of students in grades 1 through 12 buy food in vending machines each day – and those purchases added an average of 253 calories to their diets, according to a new study in the September issue of the Journal of School Health.
October 12, 2002 |
At the high school where I teach, the day begins with the sound of semi trucks offloading tons of junk food for the daily consumption of our students. Miles away in Sacramento, academic standards are forged and pounded into the curriculum of our underperforming schools. It occurs to many of us who work in the trenches that those pictures ought to be linked. Some districts (most recently Los Angeles Unified) have banned soda machines from their campuses. It's a good start.
July 19, 2012 |
Just as New Yorkers are adjusting to the idea of doing without super-sized sugary sodas, those on the hunt for fattening food and drink could be facing another hurdle. Shoppers in some markets will have to walk past -- gasp -- apples, bananas and other healthful items before they reach the junk. It's all part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's drive to combat obesity in New York City, a fight that has the backing of many health and nutrition experts but is a thorn in the zaftig sides of people who say they should be able to eat and drink what they want.