Childhood Obesity and School Lunch Programs

The American Heart Association notes that 1 and 3 children in America are obese. Now, children are being diagnosed with diseases, previously only seen in adults. Despite these concerns, gym classes across the country are being cut.

First Lady, Michele Obama, has tackled this problem head on in the Let’s Move Campaign. The website includes a section on how schools can encourage healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, including planting a garden, encouraging healthy behavior amongst school staff, and improving the type and quality of food served in the cafeteria.

We have a few books in the collection that may interest those fascinated by this subject:

The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program: School Lunch Politics. Author Susan Levine explains, that school lunch is more then the science of nutrition and ideas about healthy diets, instead the program is influenced by politics and power. Levine notes the program reflects  “America’s deep ambivalence about social welfare and racial equality.” Check out this  book which chronicles the development of the school lunch program.

The School Food Revolution: Public Food and the Challenge of Sustainable Development explores why serving local food in schools is so complex and challenging.

The National School Lunch Program Assessment, is a “briefing for policymakers and other stakeholders on the history and basic features of the [National School Lunch Program].” The book also address some of the challenges of the program.

As VLS continues discussion about food, and food policy, I hope the topic of school lunch will be explored the future.