You Have A Voice,
And A Choice!
Parents Preferred Nutritional Guidelines

The Mission Of PPNG
Parents Preferred Nutrition and Physical Fitness In Kentucky Public Schools

PPNG Mission

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 schools
  • Institute a state wide physical fitness program in our public schools
  • 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 are feed.

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.

“Athletically, 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 department budget.”

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 school day.

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 behavior.

“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 agree.

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 in Washington.

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 Here!

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 below.

Jay Jones
PPNG, Parents Preferred Nutritional Guidelines
P.O. Box 808
Nicholasville, KY 40356

  • Contact us or express your opinions and your ideas on our open online forum, Click Here.

Join PPNG Now Join Here!

Send This Page To A Friend!

State, Federal, Local

Find who your representatives are, State, Federal, and Local. Write, fax, or e-mail them, find how they voted on school nutrition bills and vending machines in public schools.

To find and contact your school board members Click Here!

Search For A Word Or Phrase On PPNG

© Copyright 2002. Parents Preferred Nutritional Guidelines

follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow follow