American School Lunches: Healthy or Harmful?
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Can School Lunches Cause Obesity? | Reader's Digest

Can School Lunches Cause Obesity? | Reader's Digest | American School Lunches: Healthy or Harmful? | Scoop.it
A recent study found that children who regularly ate school lunches were 29 percent more likely to be obese than their peers who brought lunch from home.
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A recent study found that those who reguarly eat a lunch prepared for them by the school are 29% more likely to be obese than those kids who bring their lunches from home. It seems like a easy solution then, right? Encourage kids to bring food from their homes instead of buying lunch at school. The problem with that is the kids who are generally buying school lunches are on the Free and Reduced Lunches program; they can't afford to do anything but eat at the school. It is unfair in general that schools would serve foods that are unhealthy and obesity-encouraging, but it is even more unfair that those who can't afford to bring lunches from home are sentenced to this risk of obesity. A child shouldn't be forced to eat low-quality food because their mom and dad can't afford to buy them foods at home. The school must change these policies because it is classist and unfair to those that are already disadvantaged back at the homefront. Studies show that kids in poverty may be getting only one meal a day and that meal is usually the lunch they get for free at the school. If that regular, unhealthy meal is going to cause obesity the child is doomed. It's time for the government to takeover this issue because the schools have limited power and funds over what they can serve. Our nation is one of the "fattest" nations in the world and if there isn't anything done about it in the schools obesity will continue to rise and flourish.

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Lunch Hour: America's School Lunch Program - The Trailer

Lunch Hour examines America's National School Lunch Program which exposes children to unhealthy, but culturally acceptable foods at an extremely young age. I...
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

The school lunches being served to the students are "dumbing down their palettes", says Rachel Ray. The environment of a school should be trustworthy and safe; a student in a public school should be able to trust what they are being fed in the school. However, the documentary suggests that generally the schools don't even really know what they're serving. If the schools dont know what they're serving then the kids definitely don't know what they're eating. I think there should be more policy and protocol when it comes to school lunches. The school should be informed upon what they are serving the students; not just blindly serving whatever the big companies are supplying them with. The quality of the product and ingredients of the food should be recorded and documented for each meal. The "Lunch Hour" suggests that the quality of what is being served at the schools is very poor and extremely unhealthy; explaining why 33% of kids are either obese or overweight- that is one out of every 3 children facing health problems. The kids in school think that it is okay to eat like this because the school tells them it is okay and that is wrong. School may be the only place where these kids are eating at all and if the school's food isn't nourishing those that can't eat otherwise, then they aren't receiving any healthy food for the whole day. It is time for schools to start taking charge and fighting for their kids; becoming informed and aware of what they're serving their students.  

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Unhealthy School Lunches Not Making the Grade - Ai Insite

Unhealthy School Lunches Not Making the Grade - Ai Insite | American School Lunches: Healthy or Harmful? | Scoop.it
Processed foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt have become a mainstay of lunches in schools across America and the results are in — experts say these unhealthy school lunches are a contributing factor to the childhood obesity epidemic.
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

A recent epidemic has overtaken our nation swiftly and stealthily: obesity. One of the greatest contributors to this roaring epidemic is the lunches provided in our public schools. These lunches are composed of generally processed, fatty, sugary foods that lack vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The reasoning behind these unwholesome meals is simple: low prices. It's easy to provide these lunches at a cheap price because the ingredients aren't organic or fresh, they are processed and unnatural.

 

What was most interesting in this article was the number of students receiving Free and Reduced Lunches. 19.4 million out of the 31.2 million children in schools are receiving price-cut lunches; more than half. The question is raised as to what would happen if there were increased prices due to healthier lunches; would more students be receiving free lunches? Could the government afford to buy a healthier, more expensive number of lunches for those lower on the socioeconomic ladder? Food enthusiasts and childhood health proponents are urgently working on a solution to the dilemma that is harming those in the schools health. Congress is attempting to combat childhood obesity as well with it's bill The Healthy School Meals Act of 2010; aimed at helping fight the epidemic.

 

Creative solutions have been introduced into some schools. One school in California planted their own produce garden where the vegetable and fruits planted are being eaten at the very school next to the garden. The produce offers a healthy alternative to fatty foods while giving those at the school more insight on agriculture and health. Fruits and vegetables are making their way into school lunches and some schools have started taking measures into their own hands by banning certain products from the school, for instance sugary sodas and energy drinks. With a 17% obesity rating for kids between the ages of 2-19, this article gives some interesting insight on what could and should be done to help the upcoming generations be healthier and live longer.

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Could Texas Ban Soda In Schools?

Could Texas Ban Soda In Schools? | American School Lunches: Healthy or Harmful? | Scoop.it
State Rep. Carol Alvarado is once again pushing to ban soda in Texas public schools.
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

The banning of sodas and sugary drinks is being introduced in Texas public schools. State Rep. Carol Alvarado is bent on eliminating the distribution of these drinks in the schools; claiming the drinks are adding to the obesity crisis. The state representative wants to advocate for fruit and veggie drinks, less sugary beverages, and low calorie-count liquids. Alvarado hopes that the absence of these drinks in the schools will extend to outside the classroom and continue the trend of anti-consumption of sugary beverages. What is concerning, however, is that when this initiative was tested in other schools the absence of these drinks had no effect on the students craving for the drinks outside of the classroom. Alvarado hopes to squash a student's desire by ridding the school of sugary substances but it turns out the craving will still be there, just delayed slightly. I'm all for fighting childhood obesity, but it seems there must be a smarter, more effective way of fighting it. Another dilemma that the school faces is that by taking away one's choices on drinks, it then gives the children no freedom of choice. No freedom of choice brings about some type of back lash that will defeat the whole purpose of combating obesity. Is a schoolwide ban on a particular product at a school the wisest thing to do? I'd say no, the students just need to be given more alternatives and more information on the harmful effects of sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola and Gatorade.  

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infographic-School-food-vs-prison-food1.jpg (2000x1200 pixels)

infographic-School-food-vs-prison-food1.jpg (2000x1200 pixels) | American School Lunches: Healthy or Harmful? | Scoop.it
Tommy Hibbs's insight:

The picture above represents the comparison/contrast of what is being fed to prisoners and what is being fed for school lunches. As seen above, the reality of what's being fed at schools is actually worse than what's being fed in our nationwide prisons. Those in prison are given more meat and more food groups. A prisoner gets both a fruit and a veggie as well as a starch; a student receiving only a veggie OR a fruit and less meat. This article isn't advocating for the takeaway of prisoner lunch quality; it is advocating for the improvement of our school's lunches. Why is it those in prison are eating better and overall healthier than our "innocent" children in the schools? The picture really promotes this idea of unhealthy lunches in the schools; comparing it to fast food, stating that school lunches are even worse than what one may get from a McDonalds or Burger King. In the picture it is obvious that those lunches in the schools are not healthy much at all. A piece of pizza with barely any meat, tater tots, a little bit of pineapple and an 8 oz carton of milk; a combination averaging about 1400 calories. The recommended number of calories suggest PER DAY to a teenager is about 2000 calories; 1400 calories for lunch takes up about 70% of this recommended calorie count-leaving no room for breakfast or dinner. The prisoner's food is by no means a healthy gem but it is still better than what is being fed in the schools. The improvement of school lunches is a dire necessity if we desire a reduction of the obesity epidemic in our nation; lets begin by at least equalizing the lunches being served in the prisons and the public schools.

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