Saturday, October 06, 2007



British food Fascism failing

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's school dinners revolution, aimed at encouraging healthy eating habits in children, has backfired, British inspectors say. Oliver was the driving force behind a campaign to have junk food banned from school canteens and to teach pupils about the benefits of a healthy diet. But Ofsted, the government body responsible for inspecting British schools, said fewer pupils were eating school meals in 19 of the 27 primary and secondary schools they visited to assess the success of the healthy eating push. Some pupils felt the healthier meals were too expensive while others simply preferred to go to the chip shop at lunchtime, Ofsted said.

Ofsted's assessment comes a year after new rules came into force banning school canteens from selling junk food in the wake of Oliver's TV campaign, Jamie's School Dinners. "The take-up of school meals had fallen overall since the introduction of the new food standards," the report said. "Reasons for this decline are complex and include lack of consultation with pupils and parents about the new arrangements in schools; poor marketing of the new menus; the high costs for low-income families and a lack of choice in what is offered. "If this trend continues, the impact of the Government's food policies will have limited effect. "Several headteachers believed that the cost of a meal was prohibitive."

The report said some pupils were simply taking unhealthy packed lunches into school or going shopping for junk food. One teenager quipped to inspectors that he had "become far fitter as a result of regular walks to the nearby chip shop", the report said.

Children's Minister Kevin Brennan said schools should take notice of Ofsted's report, and the issue of childhood obesity was not going to go away. "We are in this for the long-term," he said. "Cutting childhood obesity and unhealthy eating needs the backing of every local authority, school, teacher and parent in England. "We are urging schools to make the most of our STG477 million ($A1.1 billion) investment in raising nutritional standards and keeping prices down."

Source




Government drug pushers

Despite political rhetoric about a War on Drugs, federally-funded programs result in far more teenage drug use than the most successful pill pusher on the playground. These pills are given out as a result of dubious universal mental health screening programs for school children, supposedly directed toward finding mental disorders or suicidal tendencies. The use of antipsychotic medication in children has increased fivefold between 1995 and 2002. More than 2.5 million children are now taking these medications, and many children are taking multiple drugs at one time.

With universal mental health screening being implemented in schools, pharmaceutical companies stand to increase their customer base even more, and many parents are rightfully concerned. Opponents of one such program called TeenScreen, claim it wrongly diagnoses children as much as 84% of the time, often incorrectly labeling them, resulting in the assigning of medications that can be very damaging. While we are still awaiting evidence that there are benefits to mental health screening programs, evidence that these drugs actually cause violent psychotic episodes is mounting.

Many parents have very valid concerns about the drugs to which a child labeled as "suicidal" or "depressed," or even ADHD, could be subjected. Of further concern is the subjectivity of diagnosis of mental health disorders. The symptoms of ADHD are strikingly similar to indications that a child is gifted, and bored in an unchallenging classroom. In fact, these programs, and many of the syndromes they attempt to screen for, are highly questionable. Parents are wise to question them.

As it stands now, parental consent is required for these screening programs, but in some cases mere passive consent is legal. Passive consent is obtained when a parent receives a consent form and fails to object to the screening. In other words, failure to reply is considered affirmative consent. In fact, TeenScreen advocates incorporating their program into the curriculum as a way to by-pass any consent requirement. These universal, or mandatory, screening programs being called for by TeenScreen and the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health should be resisted.

Consent must be express, written, voluntary and informed. Programs that refuse to give parents this amount of respect, should not receive federal funding. Moreover, parents should not be pressured into screening or drugging their children with the threat that not doing so constitutes child abuse or neglect. My bill, The Parental Consent Act of 2007 is aimed at stopping federal funding of these programs. We don't need a village, a bureaucrat, or the pharmaceutical industry raising our children. That's what parents need to be doing.

Source

****************

Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

Trans fats:

For one summary of the weak science behind the "trans-fat" hysteria, see here. Trans fats have only a temporary effect on blood chemistry and the evidence of lasting harm from them is dubious. By taking extreme groups in trans fats intake, some weak association with coronary heart disease has at times been shown in some sub-populations but extreme group studies are inherently at risk of confounding with other factors and are intrinsically of little interest to the average person.


*********************

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a psychiatric / pharmaceutical plan to "suicide screen" every child in the United States before they graduate from high school. Evidence exists that shows massive pharmaceutical backing that will result in even more overdrugging of kids with psychiatric drugs .

Can you take a moment to view this very short video? Click here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfU9puZQKBY

And then sign and forward this petition http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html to your associates and everyone you know? It already has over 23,000 signatures.

It's simply a race to inform enough parents so something can be done about this.

Federal Bill to ban funding for screening here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h2387_ih.xml