What’s for Lunch?

February 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm 6 comments

We (at least all of us who spent some time in a public school) all remember school lunches, whether or not we ate them. I remember taking a lunch from home, because my mom thought that I would eat it better and I remember desperately wanting to get school lunch. I mean, who could sit there with a peanut butter and honey sandwich and not drool over the smell of pizza or chicken nuggets? As parents many people debate the pros and cons of school lunches, but an article that came out yesterday in The New York Times reports new evidence that links school lunches to obesity.  They reported that a study that found that those students who regularly ate school lunches were 29 percent more likely to be obese (this study had 1000 6th graders from Michigan). This seems pretty significant to me. The CDC  defines obesity in children as those who have a BMI greater than the 95th percentile for their weight and height. What does this mean? Should we ban school lunches and stop providing affordable food for many of America’s children (especially during these difficult economic times)? Should we spend more money to make healthier meals? Should we restrict how much food kids are given when they are considered overweight or obese? Do we put physical education programs back into schools so that kids can work off these high calorie meals?

Some of you may have watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in which he tried to “reform school lunches in America’s fattest town”. I’m not big on reality TV, but I do think that this show addressed a few important issues that complicate our current school lunches. Why do we feed children high-calorie, low-nutrient filled foods? Is it just because they’re cheaper or are their other reasons for this problem. Weigh in America, and tell me what you think. Why are our school lunches a major contributor to childhood obesity? What can we do about it? Let me know what you think!


Entry filed under: BMI, statistics, weight.

It’s a Big New World Let’s Blow This Joint

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jesschurch  |  February 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’ve always wondered about the correlation of obesity and school lunch. I’m excited to see that other people were concerned as well and are conducting research. I remember times when parents would get all excited because healthier items were coming to our schools. The problem was they still had the unhealthy option like pizza, giant cookies, chicken nuggets etc. and what kid is going to choose a healthy salad over a piece of pizza? some kids i knew had pizza every single day. when children don’t have a parent watching them make their food choices most of the time they will not take the healthy choice.

  • 2. abigailj  |  March 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    My kids at school lunch for a while. They asked to bring home lunch because they hated it. Now that they bring home lunch, I have control over what’s going in it. I get all the food groups in and don’t put in junk. I let them get pizza when they want on pizza days, but that is only sometimes. They are choosing better too, because they help me shop and pick out what we will be putting in their lunches.

  • 3. jennielnew  |  March 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I wonder really even what inspires most of the food lunches, I remember kind of dreading them as a little kid and feeling sorry for my friends who only ever bought the cafeteria lunches. Although at the time I wished my mom would buy some junk food, being that the most extreme food I ever got in my lunch was 2 graham crackers with frosting in between them, I am really glad my mom took the time to make my lunches. I know the makers of cafeteria lunches have good intentions, but green hot dogs? I think kids would really learn to love healthy foods if they were fun and more frequent.

  • 4. alamb2  |  April 1, 2011 at 3:22 am

    School lunches have come a long way as far as options for fruits and vegetables, as well as proteins and grains, but the biggest obstacle I see is that nothing is fresh. It’s all prepared miles and miles away, frozen or packaged, and shipped to schools where lunch ladies merely need to heat it up and slop it onto kids’ trays. Those refined ingredients, sodium and high fat food items are going to catch up to America, if the recent childhood obesity epidemic hasn’t already signaled the problem enough. Good issues!

  • 5. jannawalton11  |  April 3, 2011 at 3:03 am

    This makes complete sense! Parents have more control as to what the kids are eating when they are bringing lunches from home… And I think that the schools should really focus on offering healthier food choices. I think the rest of it depends on if the kids want to partake of those healthier options or not. But if there was more to choose from our schools could be a lot healthier.

  • 6. jlbrock  |  April 9, 2011 at 6:37 am

    i love this! its our role as parents to help our children be safe and healthy. we as parents need to help the schools realize the importance of getting our kids food that will help them stay fit and healthy.


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