The Times Confronts an Urban Liberal Nightmare: Cupcakes for Children

A Times headline writer has some issues with sweets: "Trying to keep obese students away from their favorite poisons."

Saturday'sNYC sectionstory "New Policy Outlaws Bake Sales In Schools" by reporterJennifer Medina is the usual, depressingly typical tale of urban-liberal-parental paranoia horror over raising a chubby child.

There shall be no cupcakes. No chocolate cake and no carrot cake. According to New York City's latest regulations, not even zucchini bread makes the cut.

In an effort to limit how much sugar and fat students put in their bellies at school, the Education Department has effectively banned most bake sales, the lucrative if not quite healthy fund-raising tool for generations of teams and clubs.

The change is part of a new wellness policy that also limits what can be sold in vending machines and student-run stores, which use profits to help finance activities like pep rallies and proms. The elaborate rules were outlined in a three-page memo issued at the end of June, but in the new school year, principals and parents are just beginning to, well, digest them.

Parent groups and Parent-Teacher Associations are conspicuously given an exception: once a month they are allowed to sell as many dark fudge brownies and lemon bars as they please, so long as lunch has ended. And after 6 p.m. on weekdays, anything goes. But at that hour, most students are long gone, and as far as the Education Department is concerned, stuffing oneself with coconut macaroons and peanut butter cookies at that hour is one's prerogative.

The story leans too much toward the puritanical side for my tastes.

Butmy real problem is with the author of the print edition's text box, who must have, in the parlance, an unhealthy relationship with food. This is their overzealous summarization ofthe city's plan:

Trying to keep obese students away from their favorite poisons.