School Lunch Programs

By: Kaira Woods-Ortiz

About the Project

The topic we focused on for this project was childhood obesity, we watched movies, read articles and had class discussions about the topic. It was then my decision to pick what I wanted to talk about and I chose School Lunch Programs. I had to find the effect that school lunches have on the health on children and was given the opportunity to sit down and talk with the lunch lady of my school East Leyden and learn thing I never knew about the lunches.

Initial Thoughts

Thinking about food has changed after watching Fed Up and Food Inc, because now I pay attention and look at what I am eating and drinking. I use to think I was eating granola bars and they were good for you but watching Fed Up I saw how much sugar is in them and they are equal to eating something totally unhealthy. What I didn’t know and what I know now change my way of thinking about all the food companies how they take one thing out but add sugar in it. Food problems and issues that interests me the most was learning about the added sugars in food and how sugar is addictive as tobacco. It is interesting because I didn’t know you could get addicted to something other than drugs.

How are School lunch Programs affecting the health of Children?

Stricter School Lunch Standards Leads to Lighter Kids.


School lunch programs are affecting the health in children in the worst ways for young children. However, the USDA is trying to put a stop to the issues by adding stricter guidelines and meeting the nutritional values for the lunches. “In fact, at schools where meals exceeded USDA nutritional guides, the students eating the free or discounted meals were 12.3% less likely to be obese than those who did not eat the lunches.” This evidence proves my answer because since the USDA has been involved with the school lunch programs it has help the obesity percentage lesson. If the government continues to stay involved with the lunches the the lunch programs will be affecting the children in a good way.



School lunch programs are affecting the health in children in the worst ways for young children. However, the USDA is trying to put a stop to the issues by adding stricter guidelines to having nutritional values for the lunches. “In fact, at schools where meals exceeded USDA nutritional guides, the students eating the free or discounted meals were 12.3% less likely to be obese than those who didn’t eat the lunches.” This evidence proves my answer because since the USDA has been involved with the school lunch programs it has help the obesity percentage lesson.

Is the "Let's Move" campaign doing anything to help school lunches?

Federal School Lunches Linked to Childhood Obesity


The “Let’s Move” campaign partnered up with the USDA after finding out the federal funding lunches were linked to childhood obesity. When a report came out stating…. “The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report, which said that more than 30 percent of American children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. The report recommends serving healthier foods in schools.” Michelle Obama is helping the school lunches by funding them as long as they follow the rules and guidelines in changing the lunches.


The “Let’s Move” campaign partnered up with the USDA after finding out the federal funding lunches were linked to childhood obesity. When a report came out stating…. “The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity report, which said that more than 30 percent of American children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. The report recommends serving healthier foods in schools.” Michelle Obama is helping the school lunches by funding them as long as they follow the rules and guidelines in changing the lunches.

What's happening with Leyden Lunches?

Q: Would you like to make more fresh foods in our cafeteria, or keep the processed foods?

A: Ms. Lee would like to try to have more fresh food, although she already tried to add more fresh foods but no students would eat it.

Q: Where do you get the food from that you serve to students?

A: Companies: Chicken and meats: Goldkist Breads and pizza crust from local bakery or alpha baking

Q: Do our school lunches follow the nutritional guidelines?

A: Yes they do meet the guidelines they have to she said

Q: How many school lunches in a month are 'home made'?

A: Salads freshly washed and cut, pasta sauce is homemade, sandwiches,soup made from scratch,

pizza is homemade as well


Why are School Lunch Program a major problem that people should be aware of?

School lunches are a major food problem that people should be aware of because they have been one of the main causes linked to childhood obesity. Because school lunch programs have been such a problem, the programs have evolved with requiring schools to serve healthier meals and following the new government guidelines. First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA partnered up with each other and worked together with her “Let’s Move” campaign. Michelle Obama also created the “plate” where students must have a choice of vegetables or fruit as well as a protein to meet the nutritional guidelines. Schools have to follow these guidelines if they want to be funded by the government. Even East Leyden must follow the new nutritional guidelines.
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Solutions to the Issues

  • Schools should offer better varieties of vegetables and fruits - for example, instead of oranges and apples, maybe offer strawberries and watermelon.

  • Get the parents involved and let them know the risks of unhealthy food.

  • Get rid of the snack stores that don’t follow the guidelines

Thoughts after my Project

What I really learned about my topic was how school lunches have been the leading cause to childhood obesity. Ideas and things I learned that I will take from my research is that when they they take out or the unhealthy foods it is really helping out the children from becoming obese. One thing from my topic that i would share with people from my topic is that the USDA wants to change the percent of childhood obesity from where it is now to 30 percent. I found the inquiry project challenging at some parts finding sources and sometimes being able to understand the articles. Doing this project can help me in the future in finding sources from the database and make it easier and less stressful for the next research project I do get. This project really opened my eyes about what I'm putting into my body it has change the way I look at things and that I know people have the best interest in helping and putting an end to childhood obesity.


Works Cited

"Federal School Lunches Linked to Childhood Obesity, Says SMU Research." SMU Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.


Sifferlin, Alexandra, and Alexandra Sifferlin. "Stricter School Lunch Standards Lead To Lighter Kids | TIME.com." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.