Monday, October 19, 2009

Birthday cakes banned in British school

I've said for some time now that one of the problems with public health matters these days is that it has been taken over by what are effectively morals campaigners.

While who you root and how is no longer much of a concern, (and quite properly so), the need for some to obsessively interfere in other people's lives has simply been transferred to what we eat and drink.

I think it is no accident that the language of morality is used so often by these people, ie the need to send the "right" message.

But there is absolutely no credible evidence that having a piece of cake does kids any harm at all.

Interesting too in a week where yet again the fact that we do not have an epidemic of childhood obesity, according to the actual data, was reported in the media (but by and large ignored).

And is it any wonder that more and more young children are presenting to hospitals and clinics with eating disorders and body image phobias?

This comes via the Food & Health Skeptic:
It was supposed to be a treat for Olivia Morris to share among her classmates on her ninth birthday. But no sooner had she blown out the candles on the chocolate cake than it was banned - for failing to comply with healthy eating rules. Staff informed Olivia's mother Rebecca that birthday cakes were no longer acceptable because they were at odds with the school's healthy living message. So, instead of sharing it round, Olivia was forced to take the cake home uneaten.

The treat was baked by her great-grandmother Eileen Morris, 79, who described the ban as 'crazy'. 'It was a lovely cake decorated with Maltesers and Jellytots, with chocolate icing and nine pink candles,' she said. 'I understand the need to teach children healthy eating, but surely a birthday cake is a special treat.'

Mrs Morris has been baking cakes for her family to take to school for four decades. The family tradition began when her own children Mark, now 48, and Jane, 52, started at Rockingham Infant and Junior School in Rotherham. When her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren went to the same school she carried on sending in birthday cakes. Mrs Morris, from Kimberworth Park, Rotherham, said she blamed celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for the ban. He used the South Yorkshire town to launch his Ministry of Food TV show, vowing to teach its residents about healthy eating after parents were spotted passing junk food through school railings to bypass a ban on fast food.

Last night headteacher Heather Green stood by her decision to ban the cake. 'We love celebrating the birthdays of our pupils in class and in assemblies,' she said. 'At the same time, however, we are working really hard to promote healthy eating and lifestyles among our pupils. It is a tricky balance not to give a mixed message to pupils if we say to them "eat healthily at school" but at the same time we say "bring in cakes and buns to celebrate all our different events". 'We also take into account children with allergies and the pressure that some parents feel they are under to provide such treats.'


Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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