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Nutrition and student performance

Nutrition and student performance

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Nutrition and student performance

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  1. Nutrition and student performance By: Cassie Audette, Katie Pelloni, Faith Hoffman, Alix Kaufman and Liz Durigan

  2. What is the impact of nutrition on student performance? • High prevalence for obesity and puts children at risk for chronic diseases such as: • Diabetes • Cancer • Heart Disease • Stroke • Increases healthcare costs • Threatens to reduce life expectancy • Youngsters are increasingly showing signs of poor health and display poor health choices.

  3. Continued… • Healthy children learn better! • When children go hungry or undernourished, they manifest a number of behaviors including: • - irritability, apathy, and physical inactivity • This has a great impact on learning, students will have little energy and exhibit difficulty concentrating • Hungry students: • -increased risk for infection -> likely to miss school-> fall behind in class work

  4. Obesity • Obesity is the nations most common form of poor nutrition. • There are long term physical complications • Obese students suffer both psychological and social consequences. • Even very young children attribute undesirable social characteristics to their obese peers.

  5. School programs • Risks to self esteem and ostracism have been demonstrated to pose a negative effect on learning. • In response to inadequate nutritional status of the youth, two programs, National School Lunch and the Breakfast Program were initiated. • For many children, nutritionally sound meals provided by school based food service professionals constitute the majority of their daily food supply. • School Breakfast Program constitutes the primary source of nutrition for many children.

  6. Food programs in schools • Multiple programs designed provide food at low cost or free for children • National School Lunch Act- 1946 • Schools receive money if they participate • National School Lunch Program serves 30.5 million children per day • $8.7 billion in 2007

  7. National School Lunch Program • Created in 1946 • Federal nutrition assistance program • 101,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential care institutions • Regulated by Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) • Includes: School Breakfast Program, Snack Program, a Child and Adult Care Feeding Program and the Summer Food Service Program

  8. Continued… •  Schools receive cash subsidies, reimbursed for snacks, and donated commodities from the USDA per each meal served • lunches must meet Federal requirements, schools must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children •  Dietary Guidelines for Americans • decisions about foods and the preparation are made by local food authorities

  9. Other programs • Team Nutrition • Education on proper nutrition and exercise • Special Milk Program • provides milk to children in schools who do not participate in other Federal meal service programs. • Eat Smart. Play Hard. • “encourage and teach children, parents, and caregivers to eat healthy and be physically active every day. ” • Eat Smart- Farm Fresh! • planting and tending school gardens, educating children about nutrition, and of course, purchasing fresh, locally-grown farm products.

  10. Pros and cons • Pros: • Better nutrition for children • Healthier food options for school lunches • Raises awareness for healthier lifestyle • Potentially financially beneficial • Cons: • Costly (higher quality food is more money) • Negative reactions • Increased lunch prices • Creates waste • Don’t take other factors into account

  11. Steps toward success • Revise nutrition standards and apply to meals • Proper staffing • Work in community partnerships and inter-agency collaborations • Target multiple areas for greater impact • Make incremental improvements • Involve school staff, students and families • Pilot test and evaluate • Tracking systems

  12. Nutrition in Schools: Why Poor Schools Face Greater Challenges Most poorly funded urban schools are located in food deserts. A food desert is a geographic region where few or no grocery stores exist (Sheldon 2010) or where big supermarkets are at least 10 miles away (Cullen 2004). The presence of accessible grocery stores is directly related to the prevalence of overweight, obesity, and hypertension (Sheldon 2010). Studies show that people living in food deserts consume fewer fruits and vegetables and less low-fat milk (Mantel 2010) Cash-strapped schools are more likely than others to cut physical education classes and strike franchise deals with snack-food and beverage makers (Cullen 2004).

  13. Poor Students are More Likely to be Overweight or Obese The geography of childhood obesity is largely the geography of poverty. Children that live in the extreme rural and urban populations are most at risk with 16.5% of rural children and 14.4% of urban children qualifying as obese. Childhood obesity also falls heavily on minorities. 30.7% of white American children are obese compared with 34.9% of African American children and 38% of Hispanic American children The schools that these children attend face difficult decisions when deciding to fund breakfast and lunch programs because they largely work with the unhealthiest group of children.

  14. Myths About School Food The 2008 Household Food Security survey by the USDA found that more than 20% of households with the most severe form of food insecurity—in which children sometimes went without meals—had incomes above the cutoff for reduced price school meals. There is a stigma attached to the free meals which deters some families from applying and some students from eating the meals for which they qualify. Poor school districts believe they need junk food sales to subsidize federally regulated school lunches. In reality, junk food sales bring in just 71% of the costs associated with offering them. (Poppendieck 2010)

  15. Why is funding for healthy lunch hard to get? There are many in depth reasons why school systems have a difficult time receiving the adequate money for healthy breakfast and lunches for students.

  16. State support: • Funding for school lunches also differs from state to state. • Each individual state qualifies for different amounts of federal funding. • Families must apply individually and prove their income in order to receive assistance. • Or depending on their neighborhood, they could just qualify by their residential status if it is considered an area of concentrated poverty.

  17. Federal support: • One of the main supporters for school lunches is from The National School Lunch Program (NSLP). NSLP is a federally assisted meal program which assists public schools. • They provide financial assistance for nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to students.

  18. Local support: • Taxes that are collected from each individual town also contribute to their school systems lunch program. • This makes it difficult when school systems are trying to increase their funding for school lunch programs because tax payers are constantly seeing their own personal taxes rise. Citations: David N Bass, Stanford University (2010). Fraud in the Lunchroom?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 20 November 2012].

  19. Even though there are many students that are in need of lunch assistance, they are not always receiving the help they need. • Although there is federal, state and local support, funding does not always reach those that are most in need. • Many school systems do their best do help support students in need, but if the support is not coming from the top, it is hard to get the results needed at the bottom.