In high school I always remember feeling fuzzy-headed after my school lunches. Well, now it turns out that school lunches do more than just create transient mental haziness. A study in the December 2010 issue of the American Heart Journal looked at 2000 sixth-graders and concluded that there was a clear relationship between obesity and school lunch programs. Of the 2000 students, 15% were judged to be obese. As expected, these students had higher levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, and other indicators of cardiovascular risk factors. But what was particularly troubling was that eating school lunches was considered an independent predictor of obesity! Some states are taking action against schoolhouse junk food, including Illinois which is proposing legislation to ban trans fats from cafeteria lunches. And new federal standards are being proposed that will cut sodium in foods, use only whole grains, and serve low fat milk. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new standards will affect more than 32 million children. For information about healthy school lunch programs, go to the “Healthy School Lunches” website sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
For information about sound educational practices in the schools, see my book If Einstein Ran the Schools, Revitalizing U.S. Education.
This article was brought to you by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. and www.institute4learning.com.
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