While children everywhere started school this month, the CDC announced that child obesity rates among low-income preschoolers are down. This is great news since most professionals link adult obesity rates to child obesity. However, a recent study linked school lunch consumption and TV viewing to child obesity in middle school children. Luckily, in the last few years there has been a movement, largely in part because of First Lady Michelle Obama, to change how children eat. New federal rules regulating public school lunches will go into effect next year, just in time for the 2014-2015 school year. However, healthier options are already being implemented around the nation. Therefore, while your kids start school you may not need to worry as much about what they are eating at school.
Schools are mandating that students who buy lunch will have to be given a fruit or vegetable with each lunch. Although schools have reported that students are not eating those required veggies and fruits and waste is becoming a problem, other schools have admitted that waste was a problem initially, but over time the children got used to the healthier food and have been eating it. In addition to the vegetable and fruit requirement, hundreds of schools have installed salad bars. Whole wheat bread is being used instead of white bread. Low fat milk instead of whole milk is offered. Junk food is being taken out of vending machines as well as sodas. Lots of small changes are being made and each one counts. Hopefully with the changes this year and the federal regulations next year, child obesity will continue to decline, allowing children to be healthier. Since improvements are being made in school lunches, now we just have to tackle the issue of TV viewing to keep our children healthy.
Photo courtesy of EduinReview.