Do school lunches contribute to obesity?

More than one in three middle school students who regularly eat school lunches are obese or overweight. They’re also more likely to have high LDL “bad” cholesterol levels than kids who bring lunch from home.

How do school lunches impact the obesity epidemic?

Researchers say they have identified another risk factor for childhood obesity: school lunch. A study of more than 1,000 sixth graders in several schools in southeastern Michigan found that those who regularly had the school lunch were 29 percent more likely to be obese than those who brought lunch from home.

How can schools help students with obesity?

Schools can help prevent obesity by offering higher quality and more active physical education-for all grades, every day-and by promoting physical activity throughout the school day.

What are the school lunch policies on fat and saturated fat?

School lunches must meet Federal nutrition requirements. These quidelines require school lunches to average no more than 30 percent calories from fat and no more than 10 percent calories from saturated fat in a one-week period.

Why are school lunches so unhealthy?

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.

Why are school lunches unhealthy in the US?

Effects of poor nutrition from school lunches go beyond weight gain. A child who eats too much fat, sugar, sodium or processed food and too few vitamins and minerals is likely to develop a higher risk over time for several chronic health problems.

Can food education ever solve the growing issue of obesity?

Although education and access to information are fundamental rights and are important in a democracy, they have a negligible impact on obesity. Further, increasing choice is little more than a ruse, more likely to increase consumer confusion than to promote healthy eating.

What is the nutritional value of a school lunch?

A school lunch will provide them with 550-650 calories, which is about 1/3 of the calories they need in a day. That means if children eat breakfast and lunch at school, when they get home they will already have eaten over half of the calories they need in a day.

What are the dietary guidelines for school lunches?

The School Lunch Guidelines

  • Bread products must be at least 50% whole grain.
  • Foods cannot contain any trans fats that are not naturally occurring.
  • Fruits and vegetables must be served every day; green, leafy vegetables must be served once a week.

Should school lunches be healthier?

School lunch is critical to student health and well-being, especially for low-income students—and ensures that students have nutrition they need throughout the day to learn. Research shows that receiving free or reduced-price school lunches reduces food insecurity, obesity rates, and poor health.