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Back to December Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 215 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS DECEMBER 2003

Fast Food Pitches to Kids Leave Bad Taste 
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As U.S. childhood obesity rates soar, some critics are blaming fast food partnerships with schools and advertising on children's television shows for pushing junk food on impressionable schoolchildren.

In Knox County, TN, for example, Krispy Kreme offers students a free doughnut for each grade "A". Stano's offers a slice of pizza and a beverage for perfect attendance. McDonald's, Burger King and others give gift certificates and coupons to local schools and allow the schools to decide how to use them. The schools are happy to have help in improving attendance, which translates into more state or federal grant money.

"They may think a slice of pizza is all right, but when a child is already not eating right, it's a problem," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center of Science in the Public Interest. (knoxnews.com, 10-15-03) The nutrition advocacy group also criticizes the snacks in school vending machines. A recent study by the group found that the worst nutritional offenders are sodas, Hostess snack cakes, Kit Kat Big Kat candy bars, Chips Ahoy and Oreo cookies, and Starburst Fruit Chews.


 
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