GardenShare

GardenShare

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SCHOOL MEALS IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY, DIET, WEIGHT


Mounting evidence shows that healthy school meals play a key role in supporting children’s well-being, including alleviating food insecurity; improving dietary intake; and mitigating obesity.  Several recent studies published in prestigious journals and reports that find:
  • Free or reduced-price school lunches reduce food insecurity by at least 3.8 percent;
  • Access to school breakfast decreases the risk of food insecurity and breakfast-skipping, especially among low-income children;
  • New nutrition standards, which took effect in the 2012-2013 school year, improve nutritional outcomes among students, including improvements in fruit and vegetable selection and consumption;
  • Low-income students who eat both school breakfast and lunch have significantly better overall diet quality than their peers who do not eat school meals; and
  • Participation in federally funded nutrition programs  provided in child care, preschool, school, or summer settings is associated with a significantly lower body mass index among young, low-income children.

Source: Food Research & Action Council, 8/23/16, School Meal Benefits