The only mission of PPNG is to:
- Insure that our children have the best nutritional meals
possible in our public schools
- to have junk food vending machines removed from public
- Institute a state wide physical fitness program in our
- To give parents a voice in what types of food will be
served in public schools
Our children are our future. Nothing is more important than
insuring that our children are properly cared for.
During the months of the upcoming election, we will review
candidates that are running for state and local school boards
as well as other state offices. We will post these reviews of
the candidates position on better nutritional foods in schools,
junk food vending machines in schools, and a state wide physical
fitness program in public schools. We will also be contacting
current elected officials and state employees concerning their
stand on the same issues.
This is not an easy mission
in itself, public school food systems are a big business today.
Hundreds of millions of your tax dollars are spent each year by
the Federal Government reimbursing school systems for meals that
are fed children for free and reduced-price lunches. Students
going through the lunch line, however, can also choose a la carte
items, many of which do not meet nutritional guidelines and for
which the government will not reimburse the school system. Yet,
you as a parent do not have a voice concerning what your children
Over the past ten years school
systems have found another way to disregard the nutritional health
of our children by joining with large corporations to place vending
machines that sell junk food in our public schools. Our schools
furnish our children with access to junk food, but not with a
physical fitness program.
Make no mistake, vending machines
are big business. About half of the nation's schools districts
have vending machine contracts with soft drink companies to help
fund extracurricular activities. Some school districts receive
hundreds of thousands of dollars up front from large corporations
just to sign an exclusive contract with a company. This type of
big money is not just being paid to big city school districts.
Princeton City School District in Ohio received $136,000 up front
from Coke-Cola for a 10-year contract, and receives 40 percent
of all sales ($18,000 last year) from the machines. Coke and Pepsi
are now involved in a court battle over a contract that was signed
by a school system then was later broken so the school could sign
for more money with another company.
It is incomprehensible to
think that an elected officials or state employee would put money
before the health of our children. However, read the following
quote and form your own opinion:
The Lakota Local School
District in Ohio, has a 13-year contract with Coca-Cola Co., and
generates about $50,000 a year from vending proceeds, said athletic
director Stu Eversole.
it's been a very positive financial step for us, Mr. Eversole
said. Without the revenue, it would put a severe debt in
the financial resources of our athletic program.
At New Miami in Butler
County Ohio, athletic director and assistant principal Brad Hunt
said he agrees kids at times drink too much pop. But,
he added, If we would ban pop from the school, our athletic
department would go down the tubes. The pop machines (in the athletic
hallway and teachers' lounge) bring in a third of the athletic
Some school districts are
making a step in the right direction, In Los Angeles, the district
approved a resolution Aug. 27 to ban soft drink sales during school
hours on all 677 campuses. As of January 2004, only approved
beverages (fruit-based drinks, milk, electrolyte beverages,
etc.) can be sold in vending machines and cafeterias during the
There is ample research available
to inform school officials of the need to improve school nutrition,
keep junk food vending machines out or our schools, and institute
a physical fitness program. As an example, Research
has shown that an extra soft drink a day increases a child's risk
for obesity by 60 percent, the resolution states. It also
notes that a study of ninth- and 10th-grade girls found those
who drank colas were three times more likely to develop bone fractures.
Since the 1970s, obesity in teens has tripled-from 5 percent to 15 percent.
Childhood obesity-related diseases in the United
States have also grown. Type 2 diabetes, for example, was rarely seen in juveniles
a decade ago.
Today, Children's Hospital Medical Center
reports about 20 new cases each year of Type 2 diabetes in teens
13-16, compared to one case or less 10 years ago, said Dr. Stephen
Daniels, a pediatric cardiologist known for his work in obesity
and children's health.
Dr. Daniels blames the increase on diets that
are overly reliant on soft drinks and junk food, along with increased sedentary
I view the vending
machines and schools as one part of a much bigger picture,
Dr. Daniels said. But we need to help kids
by not constantly putting them in positions where they have to
make difficult choices.
It is not just about the junk
food that is allowed to be served from vending machines, the school
food system also serves high sugar foods. Over the past ten years
there has been changes in dietary positions concerning sugar.
The current trend that school dietitians tent to lean toward is
that sugar is a good energy source.
Naturally big companies don't
By keeping foods
and beverages away from children, we're suggesting that there
is a simple solution to this complex problem, said Robert
Birgfeld, a spokesman for Grocery Manufacturers of America, based
On Coke-Colas web site,
you will find their company paid dietitian quoting the same study
to explain why you should not blame the sugar in Coke if your
child exhibits hyperactivity. To view, Click
It is hard enough teaching
our children proper nutritional values while they are bombarded
by junk food ads and bad eating habits from TV commercials, and
rows of sweet and junk food at the grocery store. We are now faced
with our children being forced to make choices at school they
should not have to make. They either have to explain why they
are not allowed to eat junk food and the rules taught them by
their parents, or face the pear pressure that forces them to make
a bad choice.
Why should our K -6 grade children be forced to choose between
high sugar foods or fresh fruit at school when we all know the
choice they will make.
If you would like your voice
heard on the issues that we have outlined in our mission statement,
we invite you to join us. To join, click on the Join Here link
PPNG, Parents Preferred Nutritional Guidelines
P.O. Box 808
Nicholasville, KY 40356