Improving Nutrition In School Lunches Essay

2455 words - 10 pages

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years,” meaning that America’s children need to start eating healthier, including healthier school lunches. The National School Lunch Act is a fairly recent addition to American society. For, as the world waged war a second time, the United States began to worry about the strength and health of the country’s soldiers. However, in the beginning, selling excess agricultural goods was more important than building a healthy, well-balanced meal for students. Unfortunately, many children coming from poorer families could not afford well-balanced school lunches, so in order to compensate, the School Lunch Program changed its focus to help these students. This program, however, decreased schools’ lunch budgets, and schools had a hard time keeping up with the amount of free meals they had to provide, so they came up with some extra ways to increase revenue. However, in a small town in Massachusetts, one chef makes a difference in the health of the school lunch students eat each day, and proves that hiring a trained chef to cook real, healthy meals can increase profit. Unfortunately, that is not the case in most schools across the nation. The quality of health of the food being served in school lunches is extremely poor and was allowed to decline even more with a new set of rule changes. However, there are some improvements currently being made to increase the quality of health of the food being served to students, including teaching them all about food and its nutritional information, both good and bad. In order for students to eat healthier lunches at school, the USDA needs to implement healthier and simpler regulations, and schools need to provide better nutrition education to students.
Background Information
The National School Lunch Act is a fairly recent addition to American society. Passed in 1946, the National School Lunch Act allows students, especially the less fortunate, to eat lunch provided by the school, which receives money from the government to feed the children (“National”). Ideally, the National School Lunch Program was to provide every student with a well-balanced meal, including the poorer students who could not afford it. Many officials assured the public that the program was in place to better the food intake of children (Levine 94).
As the world waged war a second time, the United States began to worry about the strength and health of the country’s soldiers. More and more school lunch programs were implemented during World War II due to the government's role in "food production and distribution" (Levine 54). The nation feared that the soldiers would not be healthy enough to defend the country, especially after ten years of severe economic depression. According to George Chatfield, the head of the New York City School Board, “‘The loss of men for the Army,’ is directly attributable to ‘lack...

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