A nurse at a middle school in Olympia wants the the district to quit serving candy, treats, and fatty foods to students. Wait . . . I'm being told now it's actually a Washington State House Representative who wants to quit serving those things to state legislators and employees.
Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma public-health administrator, is a sponsor of House Bill 1801, which, if passed, would mean that cafeterias and break rooms in all state facilities would take a major hit in the indulgence department.
Among other things, the slim-down would include:
* Fat-free or low-fat dairy products only.
* Lean meats, no more than 10 percent fat and no skin on the poultry.
* Priority given to locally caught fish.
* Limited fried foods and added sugars.
* Smaller portion sizes.
* No more than 200 calories per serving in snacks, with no trans fats and no more than 10 percent saturated fats.
So we get it--snacks like candy and soda are unhealthy. And folks probably shouldn't consume them. And in schools kids really shouldn't consume them, so mandating that schools avoid unhealthy treats is a good idea.
But telling grown adults that they're not responsible enough to stop themselves from downing four Butterfingers a day, and that they need a law in place to make sure of it, seems a bit insulting.
For their part, state vendors are concerned that if there are only fruit, granola bars, and skinless chicken available in the cafeteria that people will simply quit buying stuff there and the state will lose money.
A reasonable point.
But not as much as the simple fact that sometimes a person just wants a goddamn soda from the vending machine.
And just because Earl down the hall is 250 pounds and drinks four a day shouldn't mean that someone else who will probably go home and cook their own skinless chicken shouldn't be able to slam a Dr. Pepper and suck the filling out of a Twinkie here and there.