December 4th, 2015
This Junk-Food-Funded Elementary School Curriculum Is Bonkers
By Julia Lurie
Kids are learning that they can exercise away Big Macs and Pepsis. Scientists beg to differ.
At elementary schools nationwide, a health curriculum called Energy Balance 101 has taught millions of kids a seemingly simple concept: In order to stay fit, all we need to do is balance the food we eat with exercise. Not once does it suggest ditching junk food—in fact, the lesson plan explicitly says, “There are no good foods or bad foods!”
This approach isn’t surprising when you consider the source. The class is part of Together Counts, an educational campaign promoting energy balance that is wholly funded by a group called the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation—which is in turn run and bankrolled by junk food corporations. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, is the chair of the board, and directors include the CEOs of Kellogg, Hershey, Nestle USA, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Smucker, and General Mills. The organization’s mission, according to tax filings, is “to help families and schools reduce obesity—especially childhood obesity.”