Should School Lunches be Healthier?
Today in America, 12% of children under the ages of 18 are obese and unhealthy. Many children who are overweight are affected by insecurity, bullying and medical issues, they may even develop psychological issues. Doctors think that childhood obesity is linked to parents who are neglectful, who either feed them too much junk food or do not encourage physical activity. There are a lot of causes for childhood obesity, one of them being TV as it is often preferred by the young child than outdoor psychical activity. Another reason is that school lunches are often unhealthy and full of sugar, sodium, and fat, that could lead to type 2 diabetes and obesity. Other issues that obesity can cause are, cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This is all caused by poor diet and little to no exercise, doctors blame the parents but what if it is out of the control of the parents and the school systems lunches are slowly fattening up our future.
I started this research process over a few weeks at the end of April and the beginning of May 2018. This research has a total of five sources that include, two web sources, and academic articles. My research gave me more of an understanding on childhood obesity and how we could prevent early stages of the disorder.
Best, John R., et al. “Shared Weight and Dietary Changes in Parentâ??Child Dyads Following Family-Based Obesity Treatment.” Health Psychology, vol. 35, no. 1, 2016, pp. 92–95., doi:10.1037/hea0000247.
In this peer reviewed academic article, the author’s main goal for this article was to see if parents who were active in losing weight would affect their children in losing weight as well. The authors wanted to see if the parents dietary changes would influence the children of the family, so they conducted a study that lasted for two years on randomized controlled test on 148 different families. They calculated the fruit, vegetable and the junk food that the family ate. The long term effects were the most interesting, according to the authors, since it was predicted that the children had similarity in diets with their parents when it came to the junk food.
This article was short but it had a lot of data to support the findings the authors had. I agree with the findings the authors had with this study, I do believe that parents have a great influence on their children’s diets. Although this source was fascinating, it did not help me so much in my research question.
Cooper, Ann. “Bad Food Is Making Our Kids Sick (and How to Take Charge).” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-cooper/a-lunch-lady-serves-up-he_b_857253.html.
This article is about the author and chef Ann Cooper, and her journey to put healthier, more fresh, “cooked from scratch” meals into schools all across the country. She recognized the need of locally grown food for the children. Ann founded the Food Family Farming Foundation in 2009 to help give schools the funding, tools, supplies, and teaching that allows them to provide a healthier meal for students across the country. A few of her projects is the “Let’s Move Salad Bars to School” and “The Lunch Box: Healthy Tools For Healthy Schools”, these projects work to getting healthier food into schools in America. Her “Lunch Box” project is a website that has recipes, educational videos, financial tools and so much more to help bring more knowledge in cooking for schools across America. Her other project “Let’s Move Salad Bars to School” is a way to fundraise and donate salad bars to school, giving the students a healthier option.
I thought that this author was credible because she is a very experienced chef and author, as she is published by the Huffington Post. She has graduated from Culinary Institute of America, has 40 years of experience being a chef including 17 years of being involved in school food systems. I think she was also credible because of her lack of negativity on America’s school lunch program, she just wants to make it better so that the children can grow up and be productive adults to make America a better place. This article was very useful as it shows that there are some action taking place into making school lunches healthier.
Poppendieck, Janet. Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. Univ Of California Press, 2011.
This book gives the reader an understanding of the history of school lunches and the nutritional value they have. The author spent a week in a real school cafeteria, observing the schools food program. She hopes that the school food programs to be free for all the students, and hopes that the school food program will change.
While this book helped my research, I thought the author was one sided, since not all schools are like the one she spent a week in. The author generalized school food programs as being bad and unhealthy. I agree that money has a lot of influence of the menu but a lot of funding comes from the state, federal and local taxes. I found this source useful but very one sided.
Should School Lunches be Healthier?