Published on: April 11, 2011
Got a number of responses to Friday’s piece about a Boston Globe
report that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is signing an executive order that will expand “his ban on sugar-sweetened drinks in schools to include all city properties and functions, a sweeping restriction that means that calorie-laden soft drinks, juices with added sugar, and sports drinks like Gatorade will no longer be offered in vending machines, concession stands, and city-run meetings, programs and events ... The mayor, who has battled weight issues, said that too many Bostonians are overweight or obese and that he wants to make healthy choices easy for them.”
My comment:I have no problem with not serving such drinks in schools; I firmly believe that schools should not just try to encourage highest-common-denominator thinking, but also highest-common-denominator living, and that includes good nutrition and adequate exercise.
But adults are capable of making their own decisions. I think some folks over-react to hysteria about the so-called “nanny state,” but this is a case where they would be right. Provide nutritional information all you want, but this is yet another case where “banned in Boston” does not have a good connotation.
MNB user Elizabeth Archerd wrote:Your headline is wrong. No one has banned sugary soft drinks in Boston. Nothing requires a unit of government to sell any kind of product on government property, much less make money off a temptation.
Adults can make their own decisions at any store or vending machine on private property. (That's true no matter how capable the adults are!)
I was making a play on words. But you’re right ... it was not technically correct. But Banned By Boston At All City-Sanctioned Venues And Events” didn’t seem as pithy.
MNB user Dave D’Arezzo wrote:This so reminds me that politics and common sense diverge. To me the question besides the issue you raised Kevin (the role of government) is where do you draw the line and how can we educate? Do you ban beer and wine? (We tried that before!). I looked up apple juice, and besides trace vitamins (the highest vitamin content in apple juice from a percentage standpoint is vitamin c, and it takes 25 servings of apple juice (nearly two gallons) to get your daily Vitamin C requirement) and it is actually more caloric per ounce than a full-sugar soda. Some people bemoan HFCS as being worse for you than “regular” sugar. Even if it is, it’s like arguing that butter is healthier than margarine, so let’s eat a ton of butter! High sugar diets are bad for you. Sugar comes in many forms. Let’s educate people, so they can avoid feeding their children lots of apple juice and feel they are “being healthy”.
I did a piece last week about how the Apple Store shows its appreciation of new employees, and noted that few companies seem to use this approach ... and even mentioned that teachers getting tenure - a virtual lifetime commitment
- rarely see this sort of love.
MNB user Dick Shulman wrote:Kevin, my wife was a teacher for 35 years and I can vouch for the fact that teachers simply don't get respect. People visiting an Apple Store don't feel they can do what those employees do, but every parent thinks they could teach. Administrators are shocking in their lack of respect for their own staff, despite continual pressure for teachers to advance their educational background with higher graduate degrees and more courses. When my wife retired she was "awarded" with a 10 cent ball point pen and a Xerox non-personalized certificate. As to retailers you are right on target, most don't have a culture like Apple, yet it is so easy to implement and takes only a commitment from top management to sustain it.
One other note. On Friday, my Eye-Opener was about how the prom shop where my daughter bought her dress, A Step Ahead in Stamford, CT, keeps a long of everyone who buys prom dresses from it, and notes which dress they bought and what prom they are attending. And they guarantee that they will not sell duplicate dresses to girls going to the same prom. In doing so, this store has become the go-to store for most of the girls in the area. They love the selection, the service, and the emotional security of getting their prom dress there provides.
I think this is a great concept.
But one MNB user wrote:I was a bit taken back by your remarks concerning the dress shop’s keeping records of what schools had purchased what dresses so there would be no duplicates. I thought that was standard procedure and didn’t realize things had changed. I last went to a prom, alas, in 1964. It was the mo of all of our local dress shops to record that type of information to insure they did not sell the same dress to two or more girls attending the same school’s prom. At the time, we didn’t think that was special; we just thought it was the norm, which it was. The only problem, of course, is that not each shop has exclusive dibs to certain brands. Many girls shop for a dress in, easily, a 100 mile range, so it is/was still possible to see yourself coming and going at the prom.
This was my first prom dress experience, so it certainly was new to me ... and a lot of other people to whom I have spoken since last Friday.
Just goes to show you, though, that one man’s Eye-Opener is another man’s “been there, done that.”