School cafeterias are obliged to offer healthy food choices. This is the underlying principle of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), started in 1946. The federal school lunch and breakfast program caters to twenty-nine million school children daily and aims to provide nutritionally balanced meals at a cost of seven million a year to taxpayers (Fried and Simon, 1492). 99% of all public schools and 83% of private schools participate in the program which reimburses the cost of the breakfast and lunch and provides commodity supplies (Leviton, 43). The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides dietary guidelines and nutritional standards for schools in implementing the NSLP. Based on recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the NSLP aims to “enhance the diet and health of school children, and help mitigate the childhood obesity trend” (USDA web site). Schools are required to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk and reduce the levels of sodium and saturated fats. The ‘Farm to School’ program attempts to bring fresh, locally produced food into school cafeterias and introduce children to farms, gardening, and cooking. In theory, all schools under the NSLP provide balanced nutritional meals. However, the reality is different: a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 94 percent of school lunches failed to meet the USDA’s regulatory standards regarding the sodium or total fat standards. Dana Woldow, a mother who is a volunteer in her children’s school nutrition committee, says, “In the school cafeteria you could buy soda, potato chips, snack cakes, corndogs, French fries, apple turnovers, ice cream --you know, carnival food” (Christensen). This is largely because frozen and processed foods are cheaper than fresh or organic produce and the NSLP is under-funded. Schools also procure pre-cooked food as they do not have kitchens. It is clear that there is much room for improvement in school cafeteria’s ability to provide a nutritious diet for all students. The healthy food offerings in school cafeterias are significantly off-set by the availability of ‘competitive food.’ This term refers to foods of little nutritional value which compete with the NSLP funded school breakfast and
This essay is focused on the problem of the childhood obesity. It is stated in the text that Childhood Obesity is assuming the proportions of an epidemic in America. Research shows that “More children are overweight today than at any other time in US history”. …
children are overweight, and 16 percent are obese (Kimbro 2010). The absolute numbers are indeed worrisome; however the bigger cause of concern is the rate at which the problem of childhood obesity is spreading in the country. A problem in itself, obesity is expected to increase the rates of many other chronic diseases also (Frieden 2010).
The researcher states that children love to indulge in fast foods and mostly spend their time watching television or playing video games, as a result obesity in children has become a health problem, which needs to be prevented. Child obesity is therefore a health problem that needs prevention mainly because of the rise of obesity cases.
According to the report the childhood obesity rate had more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it had more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years in the period from 1980 – 2000. At present, more than 9 million children over 6 years of age are considered obese.
d sedentary lifestyle, two major contributory factors in childhood obesity, can be countered at an early stage with better food and more physical activities in schools.
According to the World Heart Federation (2007) the dramatic worldwide surge in childhood obesity may be the
While causes of obesity in children over two years of age are significantly linked to their unhealthy food consumption, lack of physical activity, and sedentary lifestyle, causes of obesity in children in their infancy are
Having more overweight adults in future as a result of childhood obesity may increase the chances of having heart related complications in the US society as well as reducing the ages in which these complications are manifested. It is therefore necessary that the health risks
Also, proper nutrition is instrumental in speeding up the recovery process in case of injury or infection. The target population will be students in lower level education institutions such as high schools and primary schools. In
12 pages (3000 words)Essay
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