COLUMN: Adler – High school students making their own healthy choices

- May 11th, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes

by Charles Adler

After witnessing so many entitled young people riot when the government decides it can’t afford that much nanny statism, why wouldn’t Ontario’s Premier Dad, Dalton McGuinty, figure they’d be OK with his version?

He wants trans-fatty food out of school cafeterias. And it’s getting out — fast.

McGuinty has never apologized for banning food containing trans fats in Ontario schools, which he insisted is all about ensuring healthy choices for kids in the cafeteria.

He’s been trying to do it for years.

And he doesn’t see it as some sort of top-down direction. Check out this quote from a media report: “McGuinty … believes (parents) should be able to count on government as a partner in educating kids about how to avoid unhealthy foods and make healthier choices.”

There it is again. The government as the partner of parents. The co-parent, if you will. If this was about “educating,” he might have taken a different approach, like a more robust nutrition curriculum. Of course it’s important for students to know how to eat right.

But guess whose responsibility that is? Here’s a hint: The answer is not “McGuinty.”

How can Premier Dad say this is about “choices?” If these kids want to eat in the cafeteria, it’s either healthy stuff or nothing at all.

And many students have taken the “nothing at all” approach. They’re going off-campus in search of the foods they crave.

And the school cafeterias are losing revenue. What’s Premier Dad going to do about that? Order the junk food places to refuse service to students during lunch hour?

To be fair, he didn’t go as far as the Ontario NDP wanted, which was a complete ban on junk food sales in schools.

If they had their way, students would probably be selling broccoli to raise funds for their events instead of candy.

And Halloween, or Black and Orange Day, or whatever we’re calling it? Forget it.

But the mentality is the same. The government is right. The students are wrong. The parents are along for the government’s ride.

It was only a matter of time before students got fed up, if you’ll pardon the pun, with this.

Students at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Brampton, led by student council leaders Samuel Battista and Brian Baah, have launched an online campaign in retaliation titled “Our Future.”

To say “Premier Dad doesn’t know best.” To say they can decide what does their bodies good and what doesn’t.

All kids have to start deciding for themselves eventually.

They’ll have to take charge of their own nutrition, their own health, their own lives.

That is something we should start them on early.

But I can understand why Premier Dad wouldn’t want to do that.

If he keeps this up, by the time they decide their votes, they may not go for him.

I admire these kids for standing up for the belief in individual responsibility.

In an age of entitled students demanding more government blubber, these kids have made the real healthy choice.

Categories: Contributor Columns

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1 comment

  1. Greg says:

    Give a kid some broccoli and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a kid to eat broccoli and he’ll go across the street to the pizza place for life.

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