Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is your school selling students short through unhealthy fund raising programs?

What would you say to allowing your child or school to participate and promote the sale of a product with the following labeled on it?:


WARNING:  THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO CAUSE INCREASED RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASES SUCH AS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, TYPE 2 DIABETES, AND SOME TYPES OF CANCER, AS WELL AS SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL TROUBLE INCLUDING PEER STIGMATIZATION,  DISCRIMINATION AND BULLYING.

I want to refer you to the following three links for factual data and statistics that support my concern about an alarming trend that has settled into our public schools and will have a major effect on you, your family, friends and neighbors.  It has seeped into the infrastructure and currently has a firm hold on those who are leading our schools efforts to replace lost revenue for funding school programs.

It has entered right through the front door and is has long term effects that will can eventually lead to a lifetime of addition as well as long term health problems.  I'm not talking about smoking, drugs, or other commonly accepted lifestyle choices that effect us.  This is really not a new phenomena... but just now getting attention in the media.  Why now?  Because the statistics are alarming AND people are beginning to notice the results of life style choices.

I'm talking about a point and time where we are talking out of both sides of our mouths.  Just yesterday morning I dropped off my daughter to her elementary school.  While walking through the front door I noticed two volunteer moms eagerly setting up a poster on the front office window announcing the new fundraiser through a major well known school food fund raiser.  The sign was there to announce the Gourmet Pie fund raiser.

Now on the surface this seems like a harmless way to get people to simply shift their buying decision from one provider (bakery or box store) to the corporation supplying the gourmet pies.  However.... upon closer examination... if we knew that this seemingly innocent activity was being implemented at the same time that almost one third of our children are classified as over weight, obese and at risk for adverse consequences.... then why are we not questioning this behavior?  (see Executive Summary below....)

The studies show that children are at risk for issues that including increased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer, as well as social and emotional trouble including peer
stigmatization, discrimination and bullying.

Why are we not questioning this type of activity?  Isn't this like throwing gas on a fire?  Or feeding the addition?  Other life style choices such as smoking, alcohol consumption or even something as simple as taking over the counter medication require a warning label on the product.

WARNING:  THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO CAUSE INCREASED RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASES SUCH AS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, TYPE 2 DIABETES, AND SOME TYPES OF CANCER, AS WELL AS SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL TROUBLE INCLUDING PEER STIGMATIZATION,  DISCRIMINATION AND BULLYING.


http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/EnvironmentalScanExecutiveSummaryReduced_244924_7.pdf




http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/obesity.htm

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/michigan-track-kids-weight-statewide-registry/story?id=14518613



Executive Summary:  Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan

Childhood obesity has risen to the forefront of the public health
agenda. Fueled by unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, childhood obesity rates have climbed steadily across the
United States over the past four decades (Figure 1). Michigan
has experienced similar trends in obesity rates (Table 1). This is
concerning because obesity is associated with a number of adverse consequences, including increased risk of chronic diseases
such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types
of cancer, as well as social and emotional trouble including peer
stigmatization, discrimination and bullying.
1,2
 In addition to
jeopardizing the health of Michigan’s future, obesity also weighs
heavily on the health care system, both in terms of increased use
of health care services and increased medically related health
care expenditures.
3
The changes to our environment and lifestyles that have contributed to obesity represent a complex web of interrelationships.
Increased consumption of foods away from home, larger portion
sizes, increased television viewing, decreased walking and biking
to school, increased consumption of soft drinks and lack of
physical education in schools (Figure 2) may all contribute.
4,5
Expert organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Institute of Medicine, and American Academy of Pediatrics agree that instituting policies that protect the health of youth through providing healthful foods and opportunities for physical activity are a key strategy in reducing childhood obesity. Michigan has several policies in place to protect children’s health. Many of these policies are aimed
at schools, where the majority of children spend a large percentage of their time.

Of course like any other product that leads to addictive behavior or may lead to poor health consequences one could say that it is all good in moderation.  However, with one-third of our children already into the problem stage... that is an alarming percentage  If you think we have a medicare problem now... just wait for this group of on track diabetics to arrive at this future epidemic.


I know some of you are rolling your eyes over my thoughts and opinion here.  But... let's face the facts... just like other addictive substances that we try so hard to protect our children from... we have let our guard down in the name of funding for school programs.

I will tell you that over and over again in the past two years that I have been out talking about our unique education and awareness program.... that school administrators,  athletic directors, coaches, and parents have all said....

"You know... your right... but that cookie dough brings in $6,000 a year for our school program and we cannot afford to chance on not having that additional funding."

 OR

"We have to allow soft drink companies into our cafeteria because the money we get from the sales is too great to pass on"...

OR

"OH... we have so much fun with the sale of Pizza kits... It's really  not that bad."

Looking at the reports... I'd say it's time to reexamine who is making the decisions here AND who is going to be held accountable for the long term effects.


WARNING:  THIS PRODUCT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO CAUSE INCREASED RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASES SUCH AS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, TYPE 2 DIABETES, AND SOME TYPES OF CANCER, AS WELL AS SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL TROUBLE INCLUDING PEER STIGMATIZATION,  DISCRIMINATION AND BULLYING.


Think... "Super Size Me" and then place that over a kid who is left at home unguarded from the "crack" that they may be addicted tucked away in the pantry.   Is that a stretch?  I don't think it is.

Fund raising that makes sense.... www.greenfundraiserstore.com