Could increasing obesity be due to school lunches?


Luke Martin, Writer


According to the United States Center of Disease Control in 2012, one in three children were obese in America. To many, this was a top priority problem for our nation.

As the 2014-2015 school year unveiled, a goal was made to regulate healthier school lunches. This campaign was able to have success as it had great support and was encouraged by First Lady, Michelle Obama. Wealthier schools can and have turned down the new regulations on school lunches by the United States Department of Agriculture, but for most schools, that is not the case. The schools (mostly public) that don’t have a choice have to revert to the new system even if the particular school just doesn’t want to, it is not financially possible for them.

Was this a step in the right direction, after all the goal of the campaign was to reduce child obesity? Well maybe not, in fact maybe worse, according to a recent study done by Northwestern Medicine.

In their data, they found that only 6% of school nutrition plans meet the nutritional requirements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Another fact from the study, kids who ate school lunch versus those who brought lunch from home were more likely to become obese: (38.2% to 24.7%). The numbers are not very convincing on the national issue of high numbers of obesity in our country.

First Lady Michelle Obama said, “In the upcoming school years, your schools will see healthier foods that both taste better, and are also healthier.” The validness of the statement doesn’t agree with the facts.

In the coming school year, Iowa public schools will raise the price of school food. In the Cedar Rapids Community School District it will be raised by .10 cents. This will put more families into the free and reduced school lunch programs provided by our government. According to studies, this could not decrease but increase child obesity.

I believe there needs to be reform in the public school lunches, this angle can prevent obesity for future generations of our nation.