The Government had set out a ban to prevent junk food from being sold to children at canteens. Mark Fraser had written a letter to a newspaper company called Community Chronicle on the 29th of October 2010 to share his disbelief at the government’s vain attempt to prevent obesity. Throughout this piece, he uses an attacking tone. He aims to target the audience of parents with children in schools to agree with him on his contention that this vain attempt will not benefit the children.
Since the beginning, Fraser believes that eating habits are heavily influenced by the parents. He urges parents to take responsibility of their own children. He admits that he weighs “close to 100 kilograms” and further strengthens his statement by claiming that he is a “responsible parent.” He personalizes the statement and enables the audience to see him as a regular person and also being a responsible parent for his children despite being overweight. Fraser argues that children need to learn “self-restraint” and that parents should be responsible to make “informed decisions” for their children. He implies to the audience that a responsible parent should educate their children on their food choices.
Fraser quoted Dr Peter Clifton who said “37 percent” of their daily energy intake is consumed at school, but only “14 percent” was lunch bought from the school canteen and “schools should be a focus for combating childhood obesity but strategies were needed to tackle the lunchbox, not just the school canteen.” He shifts the blame from the school cafeteria to the parents, implying that the parents should make good decisions for their children when packing for them.
Fraser believes that the bans will have no impact on children’s eating habits. He begins by claiming this “strategy will not make our children perfectly healthy eaters” and ” it will not encourage our kids to get out and get fit.” He implies that they’re other more effective solutions out there other than “canteen policing”. Fraser had also quoted two major principals’ associations that “young people consume at most 5 of their 21 meals a week at school” and the policy would make kids feel that “junk food is an attractive “taboo”.” He reinforces his contention by implementing the use of expert opinion, leading the audience to be more likely to believe his contention.
Lastly, Fraser expresses his concern regarding the schools’ finances by stating that the “canteen is a major revenue stream for school funding.” He suggests that once the ban is put into place, sales wouldn’t be too great and there schools would lose it’s main source of revenue. Fraser also questioned whether the government would be “allocating additional funds for the revenue shortfall” He also suggested that the government might not fund the school’s revenue shortfall even if the school is affected by the ban. Fraser suggests that the ban will most likely cause major financial problems regarding the schools’ revenue steam.
Fraser believed that the ban proposed by the government was merely a waste of time. He had strongly conveyed his negative opinion toward the government’s approach from the very start. He believes that children’s eating habits are majorly influenced by the parents, not the school canteen’s food choices. Fraser also believes that the bans will be off no impact toward children’s eating habits and at the same time also cause major financial problems for the school. He urges for the state government to “wake up” and see that “kids need opportunities to make their own decisions” and “stay active.”