The Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations for schools were set to take effect on August 1, 2012 that would prevent the sales of several foods and drinks including cupcakes, cookies and brownies within 30 minutes of the start and end of school. The reason for these regulations is to fight childhood obesity. This would ban bake sales in schools. Many parent-teacher organizations and school clubs use bake sales as fundraisers to support various school causes. Is this a case of a big government “nanny state” telling you what is best for your family or a valid way to fight childhood obesity?
Since the announcement, this controversial issue has been discussed on radio, TV, and newspapers throughout Massachusetts and the United States. The uproar has been such that a Republican state representative sponsored an amendment in the Massachusetts House to lift the bake sale ban. The legislation would give individual school districts the choice to allow or ignore the bake sale ban regulations. The Massachusetts House and Senate adopted the amendment striking down the prohibition. The Public Health Commissioner later said that the department would reverse the bake sale ban before it is set to take effect. The ban will however, stay in effect for sweets sold at school cafeterias during the school day.