Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More Attractive Cafeterias, but Just in Case ...let's have a Jail

Driving home this morning a CBC News item caught my ear, with the headline being more or less that the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) was planning to make its school cafeterias more attractive to students. But then it veered oddly into the TDSB also planning to make it compulsory for students to stay in school over lunch. So I thought what gives? Why jail them if the cafeteria is more attractive?
Fortunately CBC Online has an article on this that does not spin it so dishonestly. (A theme I have noted that the quality of items in CBC Online reports are far superior in general to the version that gets broadcast.)
The "attractive" spin appears fairly late in the article:

Coteau said middle school cafeterias can't offer great food choices because so few kids stay at school for lunch.
He envisions healthy menu choices that make kids actually want to eat at school.

Now Coteau's notion that his idea of healthy menu choices matches what kids want to eat in school seems at best a somewhat fond one, whatever his notions are.
At least this article opens with the right emphasis:

The Toronto District School Board is considering a controversial proposal designed to get students to eat healthier foods.
A task force on nutrition has recommended keeping middle school students on school grounds at lunch hour to prevent kids from buying junk food.

Hmm, jail the kids and create a captive market for the school cafeteria and expect it therefore to produce a varied, broad, and attractive menu of healthy options that will cause young 'uns to swear off junk food. Sure. Brilliant idea.

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