School cafeterias are much criticized for offering the kind of snack foods and desserts that contribute to childhood obesity. But banning junk food from cafeterias, as some schools have tried, or serving only escarole or tofu, can backfire. Students then skip lunch, bring in their own snacks or head out for fast food. We've even seen some pizzas delivered to a side door.
Children and teenagers resist heavy-handed nutritional policies -- and the food that is associated with the heavy hand. No food is nutritious, after all, until it is actually eaten.