Thursday, June 22, 2006

School Doughnut row

As a follow up to this article, some more information was published in today's Herald-Sun.

It seems a 24 hour store with a drive through is not enough for Krispy Kreme. Now they are using schools as franchisees. Perhaps Victorian schools should follow the example from Williamstown North Primary School. They swapped their chocolate fundraiser in favour of staging a fun run that earned them just as much as the chocolate drive.

Up to 50 Victorian schools have signed up with Krispy Kreme doughnuts to raise funds, leaving health experts and parents' groups furious.

The American doughnut chain -- which opens its first Victorian store in Narre Warren today -- will provide kids with cut-price doughnuts to sell to raise cash for their schools.
Nutritionists are horrified the international chain is encouraging children to eat fat-laden doughnuts while the nation is in the grip of an obesity crisis.

Almost 400 NSW schools ran Krispy Kreme fundraisers within months of the first Australian store opening in 2003.

A glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut has about 836 kilojoules (200 calories), with half coming from fat.

A fundraising box of a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts costs $8.

Schools on-sell them for $13, netting a $5 profit per box. There is a minimum purchase of 50 boxes.

A company spokesman yesterday said about 50 not-for-profit Victorian organisations had registered to raise funds through Krispy Kreme, but would not disclose how many were schools.

The company will launch the details of its Victorian fundraising policy in the next two weeks.

Statistics show about 10,000 Victorian children become obese or overweight every year.

Kelly Neville, from Nutrition Australia's Healthy Eating Schools program, said the Krispy Kreme fundraising was appalling.

"It is horrifying. Krispy Kremes are very high in saturated fat and are larger than other doughnuts," the dietitian said.

She said the fundraising program would encourage children to eat more doughnuts and contribute to the obesity problem.

Nutrition Australia recently released a Fundraising Ideas for Healthy Kids manual which lists a number of alternatives.

"We have seen some schools take the risk and drop hugely successful junk-food drives in favour of staging a fun run," Ms Neville said.

Obesity expert Professor Boyd Swinburn said Krispy Kreme was undoing the programs to reduce childhood obesity.

"They are undermining all the hard work that the State Government, schools and parents are doing," he said.

"All junk food should absolutely be banned from school fundraising."

Parents' groups have joined the experts in calling for junk-food bans.

They say chocolate, lolly, pie and especially doughnut drives should be dropped.

The State Government plans to ban sugary soft-drinks at schools.

But parents say schoolground bans are pointless when their children return home with boxes of junk food to sell.

Parents Victoria president Elaine Crowle said schools with good healthy eating policies were hypocritical by raising money through junk-food drives.

"They really defeat the purpose of having healthy eating at school," she said.

Ms Crowle urged schools to be wary of Krispy Kreme.

"I suggest schools look very carefully at the nutritional value of Krispy Kremes and not just at the dollar signs."

Victorian Parents Council executive officer Jo Silver said junk-food drives should be used in moderation.

"Parents need to consider the health food messages their children are learning at school and should think about other fundraising alternatives."

Williamstown North Primary School scrapped its chocolate fundraiser -- that netted about $4000 per year -- in favour of staging a Golden Circle fun run that earned them just as much.

Latest edit: A colleague at work has just told me that at 10 O'clock this morning, the queue at Krispy Kreme was two hours long!!! He was going to stay but had more important things to do.....

I didn't realise how many people have been suckered in by this glazed poison. Kind of makes me wish I had gotten in to cardiology as a career.

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