North Carolina Legislature Targets Children’s Waistlines

Published September 2, 2011

North Carolina Democratic and Republican lawmakers who agree government should actively control children’ diets have introduced two bills this legislative session directed at schoolchildren’s waistlines.

One bill would reestablish the Legislative Task Force on Childhood Obesity, which last year recommended banning whole-fat milk and juice in all day care centers. House Bill 503, the Nutrition Standards/All Foods Sold at School Act, would ban from schools any foods that are not part of the federal school breakfast or school lunch program. 

Proponents argue the best place to start fighting obesity is with children, by feeding, educating, weighing, and measuring them in schools. But Michael Ramey, director of communications and research at, says no one is better equipped to make decisions about a child’s diet than the child’s parents. 

“Parents should be allowed to choose whether they’ll participate in official school and day care nutrition programs,” Raney said. “That would allow the schools to take an active role in promoting health for families who ask for their assistance, while leaving the ultimate decision over what a child eats with the parents, where it belongs.”

Image by Toby Alter.