Education minister cautious on ‘obsession’ with cafeteria calories

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne says she isn’t opposed to having high school cafeterias post menu calorie counts, but is concerned it may play into “a culture of thinness.”

Asked about the Hamilton public board’s new menu policy during a recent visit to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Toronto MPP said she prefers giving school boards guidelines on the types of foods that should be offered, rather than just targeting calories.

“I think anything we can do to help students to be aware of healthy eating is a good thing,” Ms. Wynne said while in town to celebrate the launch of an aerospace and aviation program offered at Ancaster High School.

“My only caution, I would say, is that we don’t want to promote a kind of obsession with calorie counts because, you know, calories are good things. We need calories. It’s just a matter of the kind of food they’re in and making sure we have a balanced diet,” she said.

“Particularly for young women, but I think for young men as well, there’s a culture of thinness that can have its dangers. We just have to be careful, watch the impact and it’s up to the boards to make those decisions.”

Require posting

Trustees voted 5-4 in May to make the Hamilton board the first in Ontario to require posting of calorie information at high school cafeterias, a move applauded by the Ontario Medical Association, which wants the government to require all boards to follow suit.

Ms. Wynne said her ministry is in the process of developing new nutritional guidelines that she expects to be released for comment this school year, but declined to divulge details on how high school menus might change.

Education minister cautious on ‘obsession’ with cafeteria calories

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne says she isn’t opposed to having high school cafeterias post menu calorie counts, but is concerned it may play into “a culture of thinness.”

Asked about the Hamilton public board’s new menu policy during a recent visit to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Toronto MPP said she prefers giving school boards guidelines on the types of foods that should be offered, rather than just targeting calories.

“I think anything we can do to help students to be aware of healthy eating is a good thing,” Ms. Wynne said while in town to celebrate the launch of an aerospace and aviation program offered at Ancaster High School.

“My only caution, I would say, is that we don’t want to promote a kind of obsession with calorie counts because, you know, calories are good things. We need calories. It’s just a matter of the kind of food they’re in and making sure we have a balanced diet,” she said.

“Particularly for young women, but I think for young men as well, there’s a culture of thinness that can have its dangers. We just have to be careful, watch the impact and it’s up to the boards to make those decisions.”

Require posting

Trustees voted 5-4 in May to make the Hamilton board the first in Ontario to require posting of calorie information at high school cafeterias, a move applauded by the Ontario Medical Association, which wants the government to require all boards to follow suit.

Ms. Wynne said her ministry is in the process of developing new nutritional guidelines that she expects to be released for comment this school year, but declined to divulge details on how high school menus might change.

Education minister cautious on ‘obsession’ with cafeteria calories

News Sep 17, 2009 Ancaster News

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne says she isn’t opposed to having high school cafeterias post menu calorie counts, but is concerned it may play into “a culture of thinness.”

Asked about the Hamilton public board’s new menu policy during a recent visit to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, the Toronto MPP said she prefers giving school boards guidelines on the types of foods that should be offered, rather than just targeting calories.

“I think anything we can do to help students to be aware of healthy eating is a good thing,” Ms. Wynne said while in town to celebrate the launch of an aerospace and aviation program offered at Ancaster High School.

“My only caution, I would say, is that we don’t want to promote a kind of obsession with calorie counts because, you know, calories are good things. We need calories. It’s just a matter of the kind of food they’re in and making sure we have a balanced diet,” she said.

“Particularly for young women, but I think for young men as well, there’s a culture of thinness that can have its dangers. We just have to be careful, watch the impact and it’s up to the boards to make those decisions.”

Require posting

Trustees voted 5-4 in May to make the Hamilton board the first in Ontario to require posting of calorie information at high school cafeterias, a move applauded by the Ontario Medical Association, which wants the government to require all boards to follow suit.

Ms. Wynne said her ministry is in the process of developing new nutritional guidelines that she expects to be released for comment this school year, but declined to divulge details on how high school menus might change.