Slender results for nutrition ed

So far, $1 billion in federally funded school nutrition programs aren’t reducing child obesity, AP reports.

(The government) emphasizes fresh carrot and celery snacks, videos of dancing fruit, and hundreds of hours of lively lessons about how great you will feel if you eat well.

But an Associated Press review of scientific studies examining 57 such programs found mostly failure. Only four showed any real success in changing the way children eat . . .

•Last year, a major federal pilot program offering free fruits and vegetables to school children showed that fifth-graders became less willing to eat them than they had been at the start.

•In Pennsylvania, researchers went so far as to give prizes to school children who ate fruits and vegetables. That worked while the prizes were offered, but when the researchers came back seven months later, the kids had reverted to their original eating habits.

•In studies where children tell researchers they are eating better or exercising more, there is usually no change in blood pressure, body size or cholesterol measures.

Obesity starts at home, where kids do most of their eating.

About Joanne


  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    On the other hand, the discarded healthy foods from school cafeterias could keep a half million pigs happy.

  2. Deirdre Mundy says:

    This seems to reinforce the point people made a few days ago about competing motivations….

    Since urging kids or paying kids to eat fruits and veggies makes them LESS Eager…..

    Though given the over-cooked, tasteless and colorless nature of most cafeteria fruits and vegetables, I wonder if part of the problem is in preparation…

    As a kid, we always had fresh or frozen at home…. Whenever I had to get school lunch and was faced with abominations like canned peas (how’d they get so grey?) I’d refuse to eat them.

    I have heard that schools that start their own organic gardens and teach kids how to grow, harvest and prepare the food have better luck…….

    Finally, do you really have to ENCOURAGE kids to eat fruit??? (vegetables maybe, but…) We just finished up strawberry season a few weeks ago…. we had to RATION the strawberries so that the kids would actually bother to consume protein, fat and carbs….

    If my kids had their way, they’d be fruitarians… and I can’t imagine most young kids are that different… I mean, fruit tastes like dessert, but you can have it for breakfast!

  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    By the way — the article says that the poor are more likely to be fat because junk food is cheaper…

    But over the fourth we had company and decided to get chips (a rare purchase for us..)

    A pound of chips was the same price as a pound of sirloin….

    And the sirloin is MUCH healthier, and really is more filling (1 pound feeds 4 people, where as a kid will plow through a whole bag of chips on their own…)

    Fruit is often on sale (in season) for under a dollar a pound.

    Broccoli goes on sale for a dollar a pound……..

    It seems to me that the “junk food is cheaper” meme might be false, at least in Northern Indiana……

    Quicker, yes. Easier to prepare, yes. But not cheaper…..

    (Milk is cheaper than the equivelant number of ice cream servings, too…… )

  4. Junk food is definitely cheaper if your only nearby option is an inner city grocery or corner store. Availability and selection of produce for those who don’t have easy access to large markets does make junk food cheaper.

  5. Come now, Joanne. Your closing was all wrong. Are you implying that, when parents make the *wrong* choices for their kids, that the school shouldn’t come along and make the *right* choices for them?

    (sarcasm /off)

  6. Marta: Junk food is only cheaper if you’re shopping at stores that cater to junk food junkies. The reason you find such stores in poor neighborhoods is that’s what the people in the neighborhood buy. A storeowner doesn’t stay in business by offering what his customers won’t buy.

  7. Richard Cook says:

    Most people I have seen that live in the ‘hood (my creds: Near West Side Chicago 1987-1997) have a car. The Jewel was five minutes aways. Seems like the ability to process and act on information is the problem here.

  8. People do what they want to do! They eat what they want to eat. Money is not the issue. During the post 9/11 recession my husband did not have substantial work for about 18 months. We needed some help to get on our feet so we used food stamps for about 6 months. We did not have to eat chips and cookies, soda pop, etc., to survive. We ate chicken, vegetables, fruits, etc. Why is it that the people who are always whining that they don’t have the money to eat healthy are also mostly the ones who always have money for beer and cigarettes.

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    You mean they don’t issue beer and cigarette stamps? Those brutes!

  10. Until school cafeterias REPLACE unhealthy foods with more healthy choices, the problem will continue. What kid is going to choose fruit and vegetables over cheese pizza or a burger and fries? It’s not enough to simply offer healthy alternatives at school – everything we put in front of our kids needs to be a healthy choice.

  11. Mitch the Bitch says:

    Yea Marta, those chains holding the losers inside the inner city are unbreakable.

    All of you idiots need to get a clue… It’s all about INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILTY!!!!! If you want to eat healthy then eat healthy but get the hell out of my mouth you stinking food nazi’s.

    If you want to feed your kids healthy food the TEACH the little bastards to eat right not ship em off to some government funded baby sitting service. In fact bring a fn lucnh it’s not my job to give your kids food…

    Just more liberal BS and it’s ongoing fight to kill America and implement a Communist Government. Thanks for that!

    If you want to take money out of your own pocket and give it away GREAT! But keep your stinky smelly commie hands out of my pocket….


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