FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SELLING CHOCOLATE.
Will chocolate fundraising add to the problem of childhood obesity?
It's important to note that Wolfgang fundraising chocolate is primarily sold to adults. While it's possible the chocolate that is sold may be consumed by some children, if eaten in moderation, chocolate can be included in most diets. The current USDA food pyramid even includes sweets as part of a balanced diet. Sweets, such as chocolate, are considered "discretionary" calories and can be included in a well- rounded diet as long as they are eaten in moderation.1
Our school has strict health policies. Can we sell chocolate?
The U.S. state and local health and wellness policies only restrict the sale of foods sold on school premises during school hours that compete with the national breakfast and lunch programs.2 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the nutritional content of national school food programs, but not competitive foods, such as fundraising chocolate.3 Because fundraising activities take place off school premises and not during school hours, the health policies do not apply. Also—and here's a very important distinction—Wolfgang fundraising chocolate is sold to adults and not to children.
If you are told there is a health policy issue, remember that these nutritional standards, based on the U.S. Federal Government's Child Nutrition Act, were developed as guidelines for food served on campus, during school hours in the cafeteria.4 Chocolate used for fundraising is not subject to the Child Nutrition Act.
Do the health policies apply when it comes to fundraising?
Chocolate fundraising takes place outside of school-sanctioned events and off school
premises, so it is not subject to the health policies. The same is true of other snacks sold off school premises, such as pizza and soda sold at concession stands during sporting events. The health policies only apply to food served on school grounds, during school hours in the cafeteria.
Is chocolate unhealthy?
No, if eaten in moderation. Chocolate has a lot of healthy benefits and, in the world of snack foods, it's one of the healthier options. Here are some of the benefits of chocolate:5
• Made from natural ingredients – cocoa beans, sugar and milk
• High in antioxidants, the molecules that may protect cells from diseases (one serving of dark chocolate has more antioxidants than a serving of blueberries!)
• Contains stearic acid, the acid that may reduce cholesterol in the blood
• Contains oleic acid, the acid that may increase good cholesterol levels (HDL)6
• Contains cocoa butter, a naturally occurring good fat like olive oil or canola oil
• No bad trans fats
• No preservatives or artificial colors7 • Low in sodium (salt)
• Contains valuable protein, calcium, and iron
Doesn't chocolate have a lot of fat and calories?
Chocolate should be considered a treat and not part of a main meal. The key to a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet and regular exercise with treats included in moderation.
An average serving of chocolate has 13 grams of fat (most of which comes from cocoa butter, the good fat found in cocoa beans8) and 220 calories. A serving of apple pie, another popular dessert, has 360 calories and 17 grams of fat. A slice of cheesecake contains 411 calories and 25 grams of fat!9
How does chocolate consumption relate to childhood
Chocolate consumption has not been proven as the main cause of childhood obesity. For instance, Americans are not among the top consumers of chocolate per capita, yet we are the most obese nation in the world. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004 (NHANES) states: Children candy consumers compared to non-consumers had significantly lower body weight, waist circumference, and triceps skin fold measures10.
The same study shows child candy consumers were 19% less likely to be overweight and 18% less likely to be at risk of being overweight or becoming overweight. Thus, these data suggest that child consumers of candy were able to balance energy intake and consume candy in amounts that do not appear to negatively affect health, as seen in the chart at the top of this posting.
What are some potential reasons for childhood obesity?
Children are less active today. Childhood obesity is the result of an imbalance between the calories a child consumes and the calories a child uses to support growth and development, metabolism, and physical activity. In other words, obesity results when a child consumes more calories that the child uses.
Wolfgang recognizes that childhood obesity is indeed a problem; one possible cause is that only 78.3% of schools provide physical education for their students, according to the most recent School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS).11 Fundraising programs like ours help to subsidize many of these school fitness and athletic programs.
To put this issue in greater perspective, consider these facts related to childhood obesity as shown in the diagram at the top of this posting.
There has not been a single local, state, or national policy that has banned fundraising with chocolate. In fact, the current language in Washington DC for the renewal of the school lunch program specifically exempts fundraising from the wellness regulations.
The health policies only apply to food served on school grounds, during school hours in the cafeteria. Chocolate fundraising takes place outside of school-sanctioned events and off school premises, so it is not subject to the health policies. The same is true of other snacks sold off school premises, such as pizza and soda sold at concession stands during sporting events.
Use the Wolfgang Sale to educate children on healthy lifestyles!
Chocolate and confections are part of a healthy lifestyle and should be included in our diets, but in moderation. Part of our responsibility as parents and educators is to teach children how to lead healthy lives now and when they are adults. Children who learn the importance of balanced eating will be better equipped to manage their own diet as adults. A WFC sale is the perfect opportunity to discuss these issues with children and teachers.
1. Use your kickoff to teach children about healthy eating:
a. Give them examples of Sometimes foods and Always foods.
b. Teach them the difference between a Meal, a Snack, and a Treat.
Chocolate is a Treat – to be used for smiles, pleasure, happiness, and
most importantly in moderation.
c. Remind them of the importance of play, sports, and physical activity.
2. Use your prizes to promote physical activity.
3. Remind your sponsor that the sale itself will promote walking as children safely
sell Wolgang in the community with their parents. Walking is one of the key differences between American and European lifestyles. Newer towns and developments are being designed to promote walking.
1"Inside the Pyramid," USDA: http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/discretionary _calories.html
2"Child Nutrition Reauthorization: An Overview of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act": http://www.candyusa.com/News/PublicPolicyDet ail.cfm?ItemNumber=1531
3"School Food Environments and Policies in US Public Schools" from Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/ 122/1/e251
4USDA Food and Nutrition Service links: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/nslp- legislation.htm
5"The Health Benefits of Chocolate": http://www.facts-about-chocolate.com/health- benefits-of-chocolate.html
5"Chocolate: The Exhibition" at The Field Museum, Chicago: http://www.fieldmuseum.org/Chocolate/eat_healt h 2a.html
7"What's In The Foods You Eat," USDA Agricultural Research Service: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm? docid=17032
8"Cocoa Butter: A Natural Fat": http://www.allchocolate.com/health/nutrition/fats. Aspx
9"What's In The Foods You Eat," USDA Agricultural Research Service: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm? docid=17032
10"National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004.
11SHPPS 2006: Topic and Component Specific Fact Sheets: http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/SHPPS/2006/ factsheets/topic_component.htm