Sugar coating the issue

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According to ActivateAurora’s delegation to council recently all kids in Aurora are incapable of making healthy choices without parental intervention.

The self-righteous presentation portrayed Aurora’s youth as sugar zombies descending upon the SARC and other Recreational centers like this scene out of Men in Black:

Picked up by The Auroran and The Banner this hyper nanny-state move is overflowing with contradictions which we will explore, the height of which is the comparison of sugar to seat-belts, smoking and recycling.

Interestingly enough when I went to examine these supposed “sugar dispensers” at both the SARC

and Family Leisure Complex

I discovered that they dispense bottled water.  So referring to them solely as “sugar dispensers” is intentionally misleading.

There seems to also be an attempt by ActivateAurora to conflate their objection to sugar to a concern that “containers that harm the environment” and are “environmentally unfriendly”.  Another huge contradiction seeing as all these dispensed beverage containers are glass or plastic and thus recyclable. The town has clearly marked recycle streams at its facilities making  this is a non-issue.

Mayor Dawe addressed one of the larger contradictions being vending machines are not the only means by which someone could come in contact with sugar.  At the SARC there is a snack bar that, aside from an endless array of donuts, cookies, gum and candies dispenses slushies and coffee:

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So is it also included in this zero-tolerance ban with the expectation that it will be replaced with a Quinoa and Kale juice bar?

WTF?

The town has contracts in place with vending machine and snack bar operators that provide water as an option.  What is the economic impact to the town of scuttling those contracts town wide to satisfy a fanatical zero-sugar policy?

And before we even go there, where is the research to prove that this is a best practice.

The Auroran has quoted  Activate Aurora’s mouthpiece as claiming “The regulation is not something we like to do, but it is effective in certain areas.”.

Really.

How effective exactly?

and what areas?

When questioned by Clr. Kim ( at 40.26 of the video ) the presenter admits not to doing any research in this aspect.

WTF?

I did some of that research back in my November 2nd post that points to places like Denmark going down this path only to reverse it.

Toronto experimented with the idea back in 2010.  In 2011 this Time piece touches on why school bans don’t lower consumption.

In 2012 this National Post article speaks to how the Toronto board of Health was monitoring a big beverage ban in New York.  Something summed up well in this cartoon:

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The New York ban was rejected.

The notion that a ban of vending machines will have any effect when there are alternate sources available, some even in the same building is laughable.  But instead of recognizing the insanity council was given some obscure reference to being “guided by a compass not a clock.”

Double bullshit.

In this 2014 piece the University of Chicago concluded that policy changes really need to be comprehensive and not just focused on one item such as regular soda or one location such as cafeterias:

“If kids still have access to high-fat, high-calorie foods and beverages from other sources, restricting vending-machine fare won’t have much effect.” 

 

They also reached the conclusion that banning vending machines from schools without making other food policy changes can actually lead to greater consumption of fast food and soda.

It’s hard to educate others on how to make good choices when you eliminate the ability to choose altogether, and that’s exactly what ActivateAurora is proposing.

The very logic that health somehow trumps freedom of choice itself is contradictory to the entire “physical literacy” aspect that ActivateAurora claims to support.

In the debate stemming from a school juice box lunch ban happening in Toronto one commentator sums the reactionary approach:

“Bans such as this are counterproductive in the long run. Kids go to school to learn…at least that’s why mine do. Supplanting their personal responsibility to do the RIGHT thing with external regulation may deal with an immediate problem, but does not contribute to the development of kids’ sense and practice of responsibility for their actions. It is most often a trade-off where the output is administrative expediency which engenders compliance with authority rather than part of a child-centered developmental.”

There’s a big difference between promoting a healthy lifestyle and tying to force everyone to live into some asshat’s definition as to what is “acceptable”.

Aurorans don’t require a clock or a compass as we’re obviously seen as too stupid to use either.  A better strategy would be to erect a bunch of signage around town that reads:

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