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March 15, 2007

Oregon Considering Banning Junk Food from Schools

The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would require school foods to be healthy, but the measure is controversial. 

We're teenagers. We don't want healthy food," explained Kaleb Lewis, a junior at Portland's Cleveland High School.

The debate is triggered by House Bill 2650, which would cap the amount of fat, sugar and calories for food sold in schools. A House subcommittee took up the measure, the third attempt in three sessions to target junk food in schools.

According to a dietician interviewed for the Oregonian article, at least 10 states have already adopted such legislation.

This is where nutritional information passes through policy on the way to becoming law.  Why cap the amount of fat?  What if the information we have about fat is wrong?  What if the information we have about fat is old and outdated?  What if Atkins is right?  What about almonds?  Could a snack be more healthy than almonds?  Here's what the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has to say about almonds:

Almonds have high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, which make up 93% of their total fat content. The most important if these is oleic acid. Frequent consumption of this helps to reduce levels of cholesterol in general and "bad" or LDL cholesterol, while building up "good" or HDL cholesterol. Being a foodstuff of vegetable origin, almonds do not contain cholesterol.

Due to their high vitamin E content, almonds provide an extra dose of antioxidants, playing an important part in the prevention of coronary illness and cancer. A 30g portion of almonds provides 50% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. They also contain vitamin B6 in smaller amounts.

Almonds have the highest fibre content of any tree nut, which is important in facilitating and regulating colon transit, so avoiding constipation and preventing cardiovascular illness.
Almonds are an important source of minerals such as calcium, necessary for the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus and zinc.

March 15, 2007 in Children, Food culture, Issues and thoughts, Legislation, nutrition policy | Permalink

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