Archive for category School nutrition

Healthy free school lunch may result in weight gain in boys in 9th grade

A pilot project in Kristiansand in Norway aimed to study whether service of a free school lunch has an impact on weight development and food intake among pupils at a lower secondary school. A free healthy school lunch was served to 9th grade pupils over 4 months, from January to May 2007. Weight and height were measured before and after the intervention.

BMI did not increase among the girls at the intervention school, but increased significantly among the boys at the intervention school and among the control school groups.  Further studies are needed to clarify the impact of school meals on overweight and academic performance.

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Advancing Policies to Support Healthy Eating and Active Living

Here you can find a useful Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy  Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity. Today, many US communities are unhealthy. Too frequently, families lack access to full-service grocery stores that stock affordable healthy foods, and children don’t have safe places to play or even walk.  The toolkit is published by a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Policy Action Can Help
Fortunately, many of the action strategies outlined in this toolkit are inexpensive and even provide a return on the investment in the long run. With nearly one-third of American youth either obese or overweight, the stakes are too high to do nothing about the direction of our children’s health.

Download the toolkit (102 pages) here. And visit for links to many relevant web resources.

New System to rate School Wellness Policies

In an effort to help families and school administrators fight the epidemic of obesity among children, a Yale-led team of researchers has developed a practical coding system to evaluate school wellness policies, which are required of all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. This coding system was introduced in the July 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Confusion reigns over whole-grain claims in school lunches

While most nutrition experts agree that school lunches should include more whole-grain products, a new study from the University of Minnesota finds that food-service workers lack understanding and the resources to meet that goal.

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Science Daily also covered this story. Read more.

Michelle Obama: School Lunch Should be a Lesson

On Friday, the First Lady made a visit to Bancroft Elementary School to talk to the students who helped her plant the White House vegetable garden, and she once again stressed the importance of healthy eating. As she has said before, Mrs. Obama told students and parents that she turned to take-out and processed foods during the campaign, and that she “started to see that taking a toll on our health.”

Legislators and USDA officials are slowly starting to talk about school meals as a health initiative.

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I changed my blog

Dear subscriber,

I just wanted to let you know that I over the past weekend made some major changes to my email and  RSS news feeds. From now on all stories are made as posts on my blog at  Searching and navigating my blog is now much easier. Hope you will enjoy it. Each heading will take you to my blog and from there you can click on ‘Read me” for access to the original information.

Sorry that many old stories will be repeat posted in feeds and mails today. We will soon be back to normal.

All the best

Healthy school lunch efforts face daunting hurdles

Los Angeles Unified School District is an anti-junk-food pioneer, but the obstacles it faces show how difficult it is to change habits shaped by decades of unhealthy eating promoted by the mammoth fast-food industry.

Some kids think school cafeteria meals like low-fat pizzas with whole grain crust “tastes like prison food,” while they eat snacks at a fast-food joint near the school.

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see also todays other post on pizza.

Whole Grains in School Lunches

Enjoy this video with Cindy from the US Whole Grains Council and Margie Saidel who is Director of Nutrition at Chartwells School Dining Service . This segment was aired on May 20th 2009 on CBS affiliate WUSA.

The Impact of Removing Snacks of Low Nutritional Value From Middle Schools

Three middle schools replaced snacks and beverages that did not meet nutrition guidelines, whereas three comparison schools made no systematic changes. Findings indicate that removing low nutrition items from schools decreased students’ consumption with no compensatory increase at home. This dispels concerns that such efforts will have unintended negative consequences.

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New York City Lawmaker Proposes Fast Food Zoning Law for Schools

New York City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) has proposed a measure that would prevent fast food restaurants from opening new outlets within 0.1 miles, or about 500 feet, of schools.

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