Written by: Wallace Merriman

Are Short School Lunch Periods Causing Obesity?
Posted on:Aug 23, 2011

Everyone’s trying to fix the obesity epidemic plaguing this country. And everyone’s got a theory as to it’s causes. Nutritionally poor school lunches are the usual suspect, but here’s an unexpected twist based on a survey conducted by the School Nutrition Association:

Kids don’t get enough time to eat during lunch break. As a result, they eat the tasty, unhealthy food first, and throw the healthy fruit or veggie to the trash bin because they need to get back to class, or are running out to the yard. We’re talking about 32 million children being served government subsidized lunch, every single weekday. 

elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch; middle school and high school students about 30 minutes. That includes the time students need to go to the restroom, wash their hands, walk to the cafeteria and stand in line for their meals.

Many students may have only about 10 to 15 minutes left to eat their meals, school nutrition directors say. But students should have at least 20 minutes to eat their lunch, the government recommends. read more from USA Today…

(By the way, in France kids get at least an hour for lunch…)

On other fronts though, it seems that nutrition is starting to improve in many schools, with healthy food choices being offered more often:

  • Nationwide, nearly every school district offers fresh fruits and vegetables (98%)
  • Whole grain foods have become readily accessible (97%)
  • 89% of school districts offer salad bars or pre-packaged salads
  • About two-thirds provide vegetarian meals (63%)
  • Virtually all districts offer fat-free or 1% milk (98%)
  • Nearly half (48%) of survey respondents are offering locally sourced fruits and vegetables (up from 37% in 2009).
  • 21% of school districts say they have a school garden and another 37% are interested in or planning to implement these programs.

By Fooducate