Now that Krispy Kreme has offered some Florida schoolchildren free donuts for "A's" on their report cards, perhaps the corporation should add insulin and syringes to its offer - along with pants with "expander" waist bands.
"Maybe Krispy Kreme should offer free coupons for insulin and syringes to the kids who end up with diabetes," said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. "Still better, Krispy Kreme could give out coupons valid twenty years from now -- for high blood pressure medication, and for those with advanced heart disease, maybe even a free cardiac bypass surgery."
According to the Associated Press, "Krispy Kreme stores will give Palm Beach County students in kindergarten through sixth grade a free doughnut for every A on their report card. Another program has students decorate posters of doughnuts with 'success sprinkles' when children meet goals. The posters can be turned in for a class set of doughnuts."
"Krispy Kreme is starter cuisine for the obesity epidemic," Ruskin said.
"What's next? Will Philip Morris give kids a free carton of Marlboro cigarettes for each 'A' they get?" Ruskin asked. "Will Anheuser-Busch give out a free six-pack of Budweiser beer to the best students in each elementary school?
American children are suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes in record numbers. More than 15% of American children are overweight; this is an increase of more than 380% since 1974 in children aged 6-11, and more than 250% in children 12-19 since 1974.
In July, Krispy Kreme announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an "informal inquiry" into its accounting practices. More recently the company's stock took a big dive as its second quarter profits fell far short of expectations. "Adults are shunning the corporation's carb-intensive offerings, so now it is trying to fatten its profits by putting more fat on kids." Ruskin said. "Krispy Kreme should clean up its own financial act, and leave schoolchildren alone."
Last year, Commercial Alert released the Childhood Obesity Prevention Agenda ( http://www.commercialalert.org/copa.pdf), backed by dozens of endorsing organizations and prominent scholars, to help stop the childhood obesity epidemic by banning the marketing, distribution and sale of junk food in schools, and improving the quality of food provided to schoolchildren.
Commercial Alert is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.
Commercial Alert has more than 2000 members, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit our website at http://www.commercialalert.org.