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Are Thin Mints On Thin Ice?

OPINION features excerpts of pieces by columnists from the Op-Ed page and other sections of The New York Times. All columns from the last seven days are available at nytimes.com; Op-Ed pieces (by columnists and outside contributors), plus Editorials and Letters to the Editor, are at nytimes.com/opinion. Please let us know what you think of OPINION at upfront@scholastic.com.

There's nothing more beloved than Girl Scout cookies. Taste-wise, it's hard to beat 'em. And it's nearly impossible to beat the revenues: $700 million to support Girl Scout activities. But one New Jersey mom has called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. Given the astronomical growth in childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes, is it really so nutty to ask if the Girl Scouts need to be in the business of selling 200 million boxes of cookies a year? Or, to put it another way, if Girl Scouts were created today, as an organization devoted to helping raise healthy, empowered girls who make smart choices, would the ideal fund-raiser be something that makes all of us even fatter? Ending Girl Scout cookies won't end obesity, says the Scout organization. Still, as one expert asks, Where do you start changing the food culture?

Peter Applebome