Receive most their daily meals at school

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The Hunger-Free Kids Act part of the Let's Move Initiative propsed by Former First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the best initiatives put forth to manage childhood obesity and hunger in the United States. The law was created not only to decrease the number of children who had been left hungry in schools, but also decrease the amount paperwork for those needing to file for free lunches. It also regulated the amount of unhealthy foods that was served in our nation's school system. It decreased the salt, sugar, and fat intake and increased the use of healthy whole grains in school lunches. It also increased the vegetable intake in those meals served. The recent changes in 2017 to this law reintroduces milks with high fat content as well as artificial flavors and coloring, removed the salt restriction, and removed the whole grain restriction. (USDA, 2017) This is not only a travesty but an injustice. 

"Today, about one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) has obesity" (CDC, 2017). Increase fat in one's diet increases the chance of obesity. According to the CDC and other leading authorities, a child's environment (that is where they spent most of their time), influences their behavior. (CDC, 2017) Therefore, elimination sugars and fats in school lunches and introducing healthy choices such as grain vegetables and fruit can help change children's behavior and help in combating childhood obesity (CDC, 2017) Obesity can lead to chronic illness such as diabetes High blood pressure, cardiac disease.

Studies also show that when school children eat an unhealthy lunch (a diet with high sodium, high fat, and limited whole grains, fruits and vegetables) concentration levels are decreased and learning does not take place. Those who consumed unhealthy meals with a high fat content have lower grades than those whose consume healthy diets with a lower fat content. (Florence, 2008)

Most of those who are on these lunch programs, receive most their daily meals at school. This means that providing a healthy meal to these children is important. Above all healthy children will result into a healthy society. With fewer diseases less money will be spent on health care in the future. A healthy society contributes to a healthy economy in the long run.

Reference no: EM131521979


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