UPDATE: Tee hee. Could it be a coincidence that this piece of spam showed up in my inbox about two hours after I posted today's entry? Dunkin' Donuts has never spammed me before today.
Remember Seinfeld's soup nazi? Now we have the nutrition nazis.
The headline was irresistible: “Seniors Balk at Ban on Free Doughnuts”. The story was compelling too. Seven aging demonstrators marched outside a senior center wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed “Give Us Our Just Desserts” and “They’re Carbs, Not Contraband.”
Clever slogans, proving that elders are not as dim as stereotypes insist.
“At issue is a decision to refuse free doughnuts, pies and breads that were being donated to senior centers around Putnam County, north of New York City. Officials were concerned that the county was setting a bad nutritional precedent by providing mounds of doughnuts and other sweets to seniors.”
- Associated Press, 23 September 2007
Opinions on the doughnuts among regulars at the center is mixed. Some non-picketers are glad to see them go. Administrators quoted from several senior centers around the country are mostly anti-doughnut too.
“The lunches have to supply one-third of the federal minimum daily requirements in such categories as calories, protein, vitamin C and vitamin A, said Chris Miller, spokesman for the [New York City Department for the Aging].”
Ever since the studies on obesity in the United States were released earlier this year, food manufacturers, restaurants and other meal providers have rushed to improve the nutrition of their products and there are few who can object. But there is cause to be concerned about the coercive quality of this new nutrition campaign. Morality cannot be legislated and I doubt food choices can be either.
In any case, wouldn’t it be more productive to remove junk food from schools than senior centers? As C. Michael Sibilia, who visits a senior center, now without doughnuts, in Putnam County said, "I'm 86, not 8."
[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Kay Dennison tells a story about the odd things that can happen when there is a new baby in the house in How My Sister Got Her Freckles.]