A large majority of Jefferson County and Birmingham (Alabama) schools have eliminated junk food and cola dispensing machines in an effort to stem the tide of childhood obesity.
This effort has been a total waste of time, money, and resources.
According to the results of research published on January 17, 2012, by the American Sociological Association and the Sociology of Education in the January issue of Sociology of Education this approach had no effect on the obesity rate of children in school.
The report continues to observe that Birmingham and Jefferson County like so many other school systems bowed down to a media frenzy that claimed fat kids were caused by fat food dispensing machines in the schools.
This assumption has not been proven to be the case by this research. There was “no rise in the percentage of students who were overweight or obese. In fact, despite the increased availability of junk food, the percentage of students who were overweight or obese actually decreased from fifth grade to eighth grade, from 39.1 percent to 35.4 percent.” The study was based on a subsample of 19,450 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 who attended school in the same county in both fifth and eighth grades (the 2003-2004 and the 2006-2007 school years).
The simple fact is that Birmingham and Alabama obesity rates have increased in 2011 vs. 2012.
The fact that children can obtain fat foods from home and bring them to school did not figure into any decision in Jefferson County schools.
The researchers indicate that eating habits are formed before a child reaches school age.
Jefferson County and the state of Alabama are desperate to have obesity declared a disease so that the problem can be foisted upon the federal taxpayer and both Jefferson County and Alabama can obtain federal funding for their failing (to date) anti obesity programs.
The county and state appear to be bent on refusing to admit a person has will and decision making ability that can prevent obesity in most instances. The county and state are behaving like closet Communists in their approach to the obesity epidemic because they can get money out of that approach.
Jennifer Van Hook, a Professor of Sociology and Demography at Pennsylvania State University and Claire E. Altman, a sociology and demography doctoral student at Pennsylvania State University are primarilay responsible for the study that was reviewed at the Alpha Galileo web site on January 17, 2012.