School Lunches – Friend or Foe?

It’s officially that time of year again, when kids are going back to school, and the school lunch debates are taking the news by storm.

According to a recent U.S News report, over 32 Million students take advantage of the school lunch program, and 12 Million use the breakfast program.

Since 2010, government officials have been remodeling the school lunch program by adding more fresh fruits and veggies, providing low or fat free milk, reducing the amount of sodium in the products and ingredients they use, and slowly converting all the grains to whole grains.

But how are the students taking this change?

One student says, “I hate it.” Another added that “I never want to buy it.” So maybe the new lunch program is not as great as the government originally planned.

But on the other hand, the American Journal of Preventative Medicine released a study showing that students were eating MORE fruits and veggies since the remodeling of the lunch program. The article states that fruit selection has been raised 23% since the new implement. An additional 15.6% of entrées are being consumed while 16.2% more vegetables have been devoured since the new program was implemented. 

As a student who consistently buys school lunch, these statistics make me curious. Are some types of entrées being consumed more than others? Do these stats include only the most popular foods? Does this only include certain schools? These are very important questions, and unfortunately it costs money to read the full article (we’re too poor). 

The new School Lunch program sounds like a great idea for U.S public schools, but just because an idea sounds good, doesn’t mean it will work. The statistics provided from American Journal and what the students are actually saying about the lunches do not add up. So how should the success of the remodeling of the School Lunch program be measured? By what the students are saying, or by what they are buying? In my opinion, you can’t go wrong by following the numbers, so I think the school lunch remodeling is a success.

It’s working… but only because students are nearly forced to buy healthy food. But that may create healthy habits later in life… which in a odd way shows that the governments goal is being achieved. Students are eating healthier lunches and creating good eating habits which will prevent diabetes and other sugar related diseases later in life.


-Ried D. and Daniel C.

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