USA Today’s article on healthful school food quotes MeMe Roth, who founded the advocacy group National Action Against Obesity: “We need to get junk food out of child-care centers, preschools, YMCAs.” Roth blurs the line between healthy eating and restrictive diets (“Their Mission: Nutrition,” August 8).
The all-or-nothing approach by food cops like Roth actually creates the same problems Roth and others claim to solve. Blanket junk food bans do not teach children how to balance a variety of foods in a healthy diet. Instead, studies show that when placed in environments that outlaw “bad” foods, children develop obsessions with these forbidden foods and then binge on them. This behavior can stick with them for their whole lives.
Rather than scare kids with Roth’s cookies-are-like-drugs analogy, we should be showing students that any food can be enjoyed in moderation.