New York City Council looks like it’s going to approve a resolution in that will provide for breakfast in NYC classrooms. NYC currently ranks last among cities that provide for free breakfast programs, with only 34% of kids who qualify for free/reduced lunch getting breakfast at school. Bloomberg, obesity-fighter extraordinaire, is opposed. He’s worried that having a bowl of cereal in the morning will further contribute to childhood obesity, especially those fatties who will eat two breakfasts, one at home and one at school.
Except that skipping breakfast has been linked to weight gain. And eating breakfast has been linked to better performance in school. And, of course, school performance contributes to to financial success later in life which is correlated with lower rates of obesity. So even if you *do* buy into the idea that we can make fat kids thinner, this is clearly a good thing.
So, basically, even though Bloomberg says that it’s all about making healthier and happier kids, ultimately it’s just about trying to make kids less fat. And, despite the rhetoric, those aren’t the same thing.
For what it’s worth, my high school provided breakfast (free for kids who qualified) and most of my teachers allowed food in the first period of the day. Because they realized that it’s important for kids to get proper nutrition in order to learn and grow.
- Fat, Gender and Achievement by Jill June 3, 2011
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta shames fat kids to save them by Caperton February 17, 2012
- What ‘childhood obesity’ is really doing to kids by Spilt Milk July 16, 2011
- You have to get to them young, before they start developing self-esteem on their own. by Caperton August 21, 2011
- Fighting bad health, not obesity by Jill February 25, 2013