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Healthy School Lunches Yield Weighty Payoff

Posted 05/21/2013 | By HealthCorps

A recent Reuters report featured the encouraging news that states with stronger school lunch nutrition policies and changes seem to have healthier body weights among their student body.

Though the preliminary evidence is encouraging, it is still too soon to make strong definitive conclusions from the surveys.  Still, the report published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that rules like “only skim or 1% milk” and “meal calorie count maximums,” seem to nudge better weights among school children.  Even more encouraging is the fact that students did not appear to compensate for the healthier lunches, by purchasing more unhealthy snacks from vending machines or fast food restaurants at other times during the school day.

Experts suggest that despite earlier concerns by some legislators and parents that government meddling in the school lunch program would backfire, with students choosing to go hungry rather than consume healthier food with less salt, sugar, fat and calories, appears to have been unfounded.  The study suggests that government intervention is helping student waistlines.

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