Schools have started to dissuade and at times even forbid birthday cupcakes due to the concerns over childhood obesity.
"They can bring carrots," said Laura Ott, assistant to the superintendent. A 7-year old, birthday girl, Cassidy Stewart received a card, a sticker and a pencil instead of sweets from her classmates. Her school; Mission Viejo of Saddleback Valley Unified School District, in Orange County, Calif., has restricted non-nutritious classroom treats to 3 times a year since last month.
Advertisement"A birthday doesn't have to be associated with food." These kind of nutritional verdicts have caused a revolt in the country especially in Texas. Safe Cupcake amendment was passed last year by the Texas Legislature, according to which, parents have the right to give unwholesome treats like sweetheart candies on Valentine's Day and candy corn on Halloween in the classroom.
The legislation was backed by Rep. Jim Dunnam after a school in his district booted a father bringing in pizzas on birthdays. "There are a lot of reasons our kids are getting fat. Cupcakes aren't one of them," he said.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2003-04 almost 19% of the kids in the age group 6-11 and over 17% of those in the age group 12-19 were overweight. Overweight can lead to several health problems.
A law was passed last year in California, which bans the sales of junk food and soda in schools, due to the fear of obesity. School districts across the country have been directed to revamp the nutrition and wellness policies as per the new laws by states and the federal government.