School Lunch: Educating Oneself on Nutrition

High school students and perhaps college students alike may be curious as to what they’re consuming at school or a university. I’ve heard countless stories of Grade D meat being served at colleges (which is pretty much what is given to dogs in dog food) and how even the lunch ladies or lunch men don’t know what is in the school lunch. It is a scary world, that cafeteria!

School lunches will continue to go through reformation. (photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

Luckily, reformations to school lunches are transforming the way that schools serve lunch, thanks to first lady Michelle Obama and the Agriculture Department. However, there is still much to do! The information given in this post will hopefully help one decide how they wish to take care of their own bodies. I encourage readers to educate themselves on the subjects; your health, your education, and overall well-being in life is at stake when we do not care for ourselves.

CBS19 offers these statistics (for middle school students, a variable time of teaching yourself what to do nutrition and exercise-wise) as of 2010:

  • Kids who brought their lunches to school were 13.5% less likely to be overweight than their counterparts who chose to purchase lunch from school.
  • Students who bought school lunch were 4.6 percent more likely to eat two or three portions of fatty foods than their peers who brought lunch from home.
  • Children who brought their lunches to school were 12.2% less likely to have over two sugary drinks a day than those who chose to buy school lunch.
  • In turn, students who chose to consume school lunches were less likely to eat appropriate servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • Also, students who chose to eat school lunches had higher levels of “bad” cholesterol.

It is quite apparent that, though students did not necessarily have to eat less vegetables and fruits and eat more fatty portions, school lunch was aiding in their poor nutritional choices. Granted, most kids do not like to eat healthy, but if presented with less poor choices, students would not make as many poor choices. When presented with smaller portions, eventually, students will not want the larger portions. It is simple cause and effect that leaves one to deduct this reasoning.

However, treating your body correctly is part of an inner, personal, and individual choice. In fact, there is not much anyone can do if no one chooses to take care of their own bodies or if no one knows how to read a nutrition label. In a recent post by huffingtonpost.com, the Agriculture Department is allowing a bigger portion of meat and grains into student’s diets, reportedly because of complaints that students are growing hungry at school. This allows for¬†understanding that there is much more work to be done, and backtracking into bigger portions allows the understanding of, ironically, a larger need for change.

From fast food, processed foods, and school lunch, our future leaders are being presented with poor choices that will affect them in the present and future.  It is a sad reality that so many youthful peoples struggle with their weight and bodies.

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