No Local High School Volunteers For Nutrition Program

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A pilot program designed to limit junk food at Washoe County schools is getting a chilly response from area high schools.

No high school has signed up for the voluntary nutritional test program aimed at curbing obesity.

Officials said the schools fear fund-raising activities would be curtailed if clubs or programs aren't allowed to sell things like candy and doughnuts.

"Hopefully, we can dissuade some of their fear factors, but it has not happened yet," trustee Lezlie Porter told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Such sales brought in more than $1 million last year, the school district said.

Two elementary schools and three middle schools are expected to participate in the plan, set to begin in the fall. If successful, it could be expanded district wide.

School trustees are scheduled to vote on the pilot program Tuesday.

Some administrators fear a backlash from high school students if a nutritional program is thrust upon them without more study, said Debbie Cylke, superintendent for secondary education.

"I want successful implementation, so it is better to go slowly, especially when you go into high school," Cylke said.

"The reality is that we have a lot of parents and funding sources that are very supportive of the kids. I want to see a solid plan in place before we change."

High school students expressed mixed reactions to the plan.

"If you start this at a high school, you would get a very vocal response if all of a sudden adults were telling us that we can't sell a cookie," said Sean McDonald, 17, a senior at McQueen High School.

But other students were disappointed they won't be part of the test program.

"We are the fattest country in the world and that all starts with the diet you have when you are a kid," McQueen senior Galen Carrico told the newspaper.