Obesity: Lunches Aim to Limit Kids Exposure to Junk Despite Data Indicating School Food Doesn’t Matter
Ah, schools. Is there any place where forging ahead with a useless course of action in the presence of data to the contrary ever so embraced- such as with obesity and school lunches?
Michelle Obama has picked childhood obesity as her pet cause during her husband’s presidency- much to the consternation of Republicans that seem to think she wants socialist redistribution of all their cookies. Earlier this week, her initiative’s focus on school lunches and obesity drew attention as the First Lady (FLOTUS) sat down with a group of school kids to eat turkey tacos as part of a rejiggering of menus around the country.
The new anti-obesity lunches include more greens and fruits and less fat, replacing some deep-fried and cheese-coated items, and salt also went on the list of items to be reduced in school foods. In a statement, Mrs. Obama said:
“As parents, we try to prepare decent meals, limit how much junk food our kids eat and ensure that they have a reasonable balanced diet. And when we are putting in all that effort the last thing we want is for our hard work to be undone each day in the school cafeteria.”
The changes came just after the release of a report that indicates obesity and lunches at school are not very provably linked, however. The study came out of Penn State’s sociology and demographics departments and one of its lead authors said:
“We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there… Schools only represent a small portion of children’s food environment. They can get food at home, they can get food in their neighborhoods and they can go across the street from the school to buy food.”
Do you think it’s worthwhile reforming school lunches to combat obesity?