Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Ban cookies, save lives? Sorry, it’s not so easy.

On Tuesday, I will be 1 of 3 panelists at an all Candidiate Provincial Election Debate in Vaughan, and I was asked to prepare two questions that each of the candidiates will have to answer. My first question is about the new Ontario Schools Junk Food Ban and my second, is about the lack of physical activity being offered in Ontario schools.

It’s no secret that while I don’t have a problem with “unhealthy” foods being removed from school stores and cafeterias, I DO have a problem with the lack of education being put in their place. I think it’s ridiculous for the government to think that¬†by simply¬†removing the “offensive” food, they will be saving thousands of children from¬†the vicious claws of obesity and sending them on¬†the path¬†to healthy living. Not quite. In fact, study after study is proving that the government’s focus on obesity is actually just making things worse.

A few points I wanted to share:

Child Nutrition expert Dr. jennifer O’Dea stated:

Negative messages such as sugar and fat are “Bad” and the use of the term “Junk Food” contribute to underlying fear of food,dietary fat and weight gain which precedes body image concerns and eating problems.

Wellness Council of America:

“Perhaps the most damaging affect of childhood obesity prevention programs result from the focus on weight as opposed to health.”

“Negative consequences of the war on obesity are also being felt by normal weight children who perceive themselves as being fat.”

“Many studies over the last few decades show that when adults try to control what their children wat, the children are more, not less, likely to end up with weight,body image and eating related problems.”


“BMI is NOT a good predictor of body fat as it does not take into consideration any discrepancies in terms of gender,race,age and ethnicity. It doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle tissue.”


American Journal of Public Health:

“Our efforts to prevent childhood obesity can no longer afford to ignore eating disorders and related behaviors”

The fact is: We must STOP putting the focus on WEIGHT and out it on HEALTH where it belongs. By focusing on FAT we are making healthy weight kids feel overweight and overweight kids hate themselves. This is NOT productive.

If you simply take cookies out of the cafeteria, the message is: Cookies are BAD because they’ll make you FAT.

But if you replace cookies laden with unhealthy trans fat and replace them with cookies made from natural ingredients, you are TEACHING about HEALTHY choices not diet ones.

Kids should learn that being active and eating a balanced diet will make them FEEL good.Period. How it will make them look, shouldn’t even come into play. Afterall, shouldn’t Skinny kids eat in a healthy way as well, or do they not have to worry because they can fit easily into their skinny jeans?

It’s time to move away from obesity prevention and towards childhood health promotion.

Self-worth should not be measured in pounds.



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