Lantern file photo
Now that Ohio State passed the tobacco ban, the university has set its sights on banning the sale of things that almost everyone on campus consumes.
Candy, chips and other unhealthy snacks will be the next things to be kicked off campus in the name of student health.
Yes, you read that right. Most types of candy bars, cookies, salty snacks and sugar-based edibles will no longer be sold on school grounds. The offending items will be pulled from vending machines, and school officials are also recommending that these insidious snack items no longer be sold in any shop or dining facility on campus.
Megan Amaya, director of Health Promotion and Wellness, said Friday that OSU will likely be following the Snackwise food rating system or other similar guidelines.
Snackwise was developed by the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a guideline to healthy eating, and will be used to help determine what snacks will be available for students, faculty and staff.
The system is color-coded, and snacks are put into green, yellow and red categories based on several criteria that determine their overall nutritional value. Any snack deemed to fall into the red category will likely be removed from campus, Amaya said.
This includes snacks many would consider healthy such as peanuts, sunflower seeds, banana chips, many granola bars and even some 100-calorie snack packs.
Pop-Tarts are OK, but only certain varieties and only in packages containing one pastry, according to the Snackwise website.
School officials aren’t ignoring sugary drinks either.
Bernadette Melnyk, OSU’s chief wellness officer, was asked if the healthy campus initiative would extend into beverages when contract negotiations with Coca-Cola next occur.
“I definitely think that will be under discussion because we know, for instance, water instead of sugared beverages is much healthier for people,” Melnyk said.
OSU created a controversy when it announced that tobacco, a habit that a minority of the campus population engages in, would be banned on campus.
What will happen when they target something as popular as junk food?
In a previous commentary, I warned that the tobacco ban would only be the first step in OSU’s initiative to become the “healthiest campus in the nation.” I received no shortage of criticism when I said that.
Some people said I was just a bitter smoker.
Others argued that people eating and drinking unhealthy things were only harming themselves, not others, and the university couldn’t possibly target someone for that, could they?
Many refused to support my resistance to the “we know what’s best for you” police because they don’t like smoking and refused to acknowledge the larger issue of personal freedom.
I wonder, how many of those people like candy bars, or occasionally like to have more than 0.75 ounces of potato chips?
Now that something they consume is being targeted, will they stand up?
Will you stand up?
The real issue here is not what is being banned. No matter how vile you think the target of a restriction is, it is the underlying principle that must be fought for.
This nation was founded on the idea that individuals have the freedom to live their lives in the manner they see fit. It is not the responsibility of any elected or appointed official to micromanage the choices that we make, nor is it within the scope of their authority to dictate what legal substances consenting adults put into their bodies.
The price for this individual liberty is that we must bear personal responsibility for the consequences of our choices.
If you choose to smoke, eat or drink yourself to death, that is your right.
School officials will tell you they’re not limiting your freedom to eat or drink what you want.
“It doesn’t mean a student can’t get them at the Safeway across the street, it’s just they won’t be in the vending machines,” Amaya said.
The university isn’t stopping you from doing anything. It’s not denying you your freedoms, you’ll just have to go across the street to exercise your rights.
It is the exact same logic used for the smoking ban, and it is the exact same logic the university will use for every subsequent infringement on your personal freedoms.
The school is basically saying, “We’re not making you do anything, we’re just making it very inconvenient to not do what we want.”
I didn’t realize the Bill of Rights was void west of High Street.
OSU President E. Gordon Gee and his health police are determined to make this the “healthiest campus in the world” and the happiness, and the freedoms, of his students are just pesky obstacles on the path to this public relations coup.
The wants, desires and liberties of all Buckeyes are now expendable in the name of greater good of the People’s Republic of Gee.
I urged the student population to stand together on the smoking ban because if we do not present a united front then our individual freedoms will be picked apart one at a time.
In her interview, Amaya said this junk food initiative isn’t a done deal yet, but it’s definitely at least a recommendation for everyone on campus.
“It’s just to have (healthy snacks) available so when you are hungry, and you go down (to the vending machine), you’re making automatically a better choice than you would with some of the less optimal options,” Amaya said.
Isn’t that reassuring? You’ll definitely make a better choice because you won’t have as many choices.
We should all rejoice.
Our glorious leaders have relieved us of the horrible burden of deciding what to eat. Eating healthy food will just happen “automatically.”
What other odious responsibilities can they take away from our feeble and overburdened minds?
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we didn’t have to make any of our own decisions at all?