Verboten goodies

Pity the grandmother who sends a bounty of oven-fresh cupcakes to the school bake sale. Grandma may have good intentions, but she and others of her ilk are inadvertently condemning America's school children to an obesity 'epidemic.' At least, that's what University of Minnesota professor Martha Kubik argues. She conducted a study linking schools that hold bake sales to more-obese student bodies. Perhaps. The good professor does acknowledge that 'her research doesn't prove that such food practices contribute to adolescent obesity.' A New Haven principal who has banned vending machines and insists his cafeteria serve only 'healthy food,' however, does see a link between less candy at school and few chubby kids in the hall. And he says the bon-bon ban has other positives - no candy wrappers, for example, so 'our hallways are impeccable.' Which leads Gadfly to wonder, where are all the banana peels and edamame pods? But at least one person stands up for Grandma. Another U of M professor, this one an expert in popular culture, says, 'Leave the ladies with the cupcakes alone!' Hear hear.

"Study links bake sales, weight problems," Boston Globe, December 5, 2005