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Healthy School Lunches. Jeannine S. Smith Walden University PUBH 6165-2 Environmental Health. Stakeholders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) School Boards Teachers Parents Students. Introduction. Childhood Obesity rates in the US have increased.

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healthy school lunches

Healthy School Lunches

Jeannine S. Smith

Walden University

PUBH 6165-2

Environmental Health

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • School Boards
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Childhood Obesity rates in the US have increased.
    • In 2007-2008 19.6% of children among 6-11 year olds and 18.1% adolescents aged 12-19 were obese (CDC, 2011).
  • Obese children and adolescents are more likely to become obese as adults (CDC, 2011).
childhood obesity defined
Childhood Obesity Defined
  • A serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents
  • A child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height
  • Can lead to health problems as an adult
    • Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • High Cholesterol (Mayo Clinic, 2010).
causes of childhood obesity
Causes of Childhood Obesity
  • Environmental Factors
    • Within the home
      • Parent-child interaction
    • Within childcare
      • Eating and physical activities can be developed
    • Within schools
    • Within the community (CDC, 2011).
  • Genetics
    • Genetic characteristics for being overweight/obese.
  • Behavioral Factors
    • Energy Intake
      • Large Portions
      • Sweets/Junk Food
    • Physical Activity
      • Less physical activity
    • Sedentary Behavior
      • 3 hours plus per day on TV and video games
what does this mean
What Does this Mean?
  • Healthier eating habits for children and adolescents need to be achieved.
    • School board, teachers and parents could all contribute to this issue.
    • Many children consume at least half of their daily calories at school, and for many children, food served at school may be the only food they regularly eat (Lets Move, 2011).
what the schools can do
What the Schools Can Do
  • Healthy School Lunch Programs
    • Smaller portions
    • Healthier lunch options
    • Healthier snacks in vending machines
healthy school lunch program
Healthy School Lunch Program
  • The campaign’s key message:
    • Foods served in schools should promote the health of all children (PCRM, 2011).
  • The Healthy School Lunch Campaign
    • Sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
    • Improving the food served to children in schools by educating government and school officials, food service workers, parents, and others about the food choices best able to promote children’s current and long-term health.
    • encourages schools to offer more healthy low-fat, cholesterol-free options, including reimbursable meals and beverages, a la carte items, and vending machine items
healthy school lunch challenges
Healthy School Lunch Challenges
  • Cost
    • Healthy food costs a lot more than junk food.
  • Kids Not Willing to Eat Healthy
    • Kids will choose ice cream over fresh fruit
    • Think they’re “uncool” by eating healthy
  • Cafeteria Workers Don’t Know How to Create Healthy Items
    • School lunches are prepared by microwave or deep fryer
    • Broader set of skills needed for healthier foods (FSW, 2011).
what parents and students can do
What Parents and Students Can Do
  • Parents and Students can also contribute to healthy school lunches:
    • Pack healthy lunches at home.

• Colorful foods• A variety of foods from all groups (proteins, fruits & vegetables, and whole grains)• Nutrient-dense• Delicious (Healthy Child, 2011).

benefits and risks of healthier lunches
Benefits and Risks of Healthier Lunches
  • Risks
    • None!
  • Benefits
    • Prevents Weight Gain and Obesity
    • Feeds the Brain
    • Teaches the Importance of Healthy Eating (LiveStrong, 2011)
public health impact on healthy lunches
Public Health Impact on Healthy Lunches
  • Healthy Habits
    • can help your child learn habits that will stay with them well into adulthood
    • children who had unhealthy habits and risk factors for high cholesterol in childhood were more likely to maintain those problems into adulthood
  • Low Income Benefits
    • Lower income households purchase fewer fruits and vegetables than those of higher incomes
    • Offering fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein in school lunches, gives lower income children the chance to learn about and eat a healthier diet. (LiveStrong, 2011).
  • Healthier habits now will have an impact on adult life
    • Healthy Fuel
      • fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats
      • vitamins, minerals and nutrients
    • Weight Management
      • eating fatty fried foods and foods made of sugar and refined grains can lead a child on the road to obesity
      • When offered healthier alternatives and more balanced meals at school, children can make better choices, conserve calories and eat food that will benefit their bodies
  • In conclusion, schools, parents, and student can all contribute to healthier school lunches. In the long run, the benefits of healthier lunches outweigh the risks.
  • Healthier lunches will help lower the risk of childhood obesity and will promote healthier living into adulthood.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Overweight and Obesity. Retrieved from
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011). Overweight and Obesity. Retrieved from
  • Healthy Child (2011). Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Kids. Retrieved from
  • Food Service Warehouse (FSW). (2011). The Challenges of Serving Healthy School Lunches. Retrieved from
  • Mayo Clinic (2010). Childhood Obesity. Retrieved from
  • Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). (2011). Healthy School Lunches. Retrieved from
  • LiveStrong (2011). The Effect of Healthy School Lunches on Kids. Retrieved from
  • Lets Move (2011). Healthy Schools. Retrieved from