The Junk Stops Here

Hawaii's public schools will start weaning kids off of so-called "junk" food in an ambitious plan over the next four years. Say goodbye to sugar-filled candy, cookies, and drinks at school. Say aloha to fundraisers that fatten up the kids as well as the coffers. While we probably won't start seeing campus vending machines displaying bags of broccoli, walnuts, blueberries, or carrots, this concept is obviously a healthy plan. Now, if we could only get parents to have the same rules at home, or at least do a better job of keeping an eye on what gets ingested, perhaps we can see an immediate impactt on the childhood obesity issue which plagues our state.

As someone who grew up on a whole host or hostess of cakes and cookies, I am not some naïve do-gooder who wants to take Willie Wonka treats away from our keiki. But healthy options do make lots of sense. Trying to stop the over-indulgence and relative ease by which kids can get some of these treats at school is a smart start. Add to that the upcoming mandate of more physical activity at our public schools, and the vital signs of our youth should look much brighter in the years ahead.

Getting kids to realize what's best for their bodies and their minds is a constant battle, but this cooperative effort between the DOE, parents, teachers, students, and the private sector is a step or a jog in the right direction. Think about it...