School Lunches: Friend or Foe in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

2481 Words Aug 21st, 2014 10 Pages
The rising obesity rate amongst school aged children and the need for better quality foods, not less expensive easy-access meals, raises an important question: “Should changes be made to the regulations for foods that are served in public schools or should responsibilities lie exclusively on educating parents about making better food choices for their children?” Parents and the community have a responsibility to help prevent childhood obesity by empowering children with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the fight.
The World Health Organization presented key facts and figures on childhood obesity to include a few of the following:
• “The number of overweight or obese infants and young children (aged 0 to 5 years) increased
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To help fight against childhood obesity and potentially outliving their own children parents need to actively watch and participate in what their children are consuming on a daily basis not only at home but in school as well. Taking the time one night a weekend to provide healthy meals for children where the children are actively involved with meal plans goes a long way to help fight obesity.
Children spend the majority of their waking hours outside of their home primarily at school, daycare facilities or after school programs where meals are provided, therefore the most logical place to begin making changes are in those facilities kitchens or cafeterias. Diane Schanzenbach (2009) said it best when she wrote an article in the Journal of human Resource titled “Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?” she stated “if school lunches play a contributing role in the child obesity epidemic, making them healthier has the potential to impact a large number of children across socioeconomic status, race, and geographic boundaries” (p.685). Adjusting the meals provided at school and afterschool facilities helps to ensure children have an opportunity to make healthier choices when it comes to the food that is provided to them.
Along with school lunches that lack nutritional value and parents who rely on the school system to provide meals to their school aged children

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