More than ever school nutrition need to be a priority; however the public education system continues to cut corners rather than truly provide well rounded nutritional meals. In 2010 Obama signed the hunger-free kids act. Ever since then school lunches have been on the decline. Now schools need to have a mandatory amount of calories for each school level, elementary, middle, and high school. And as the grade increases so does the calorie limit, but not by much.
Nationally the maximum limit for school lunch calories is 850 (Yee 4). This is the first time these regulations have been retooled in the past 30 years (Klein 1). Congress has not only put strict regulations on what is served in schools, but what is sold in vending machines and in school stores, such as our “Snack Shack”. The president of the School Nutrition Association in Washington said in a letter “It makes no sense to set one set of rules for the cafeteria and another set for the hallway.
He also said “Failure to apply the same rules to all foods sold/served on the campus throughout the school day will erode the efforts schools are making to ensure the nutritional quality and the value of school meals (Klein 1). The reason that these new regulations on lunches is because the obesity rate is quite high in Americans. In adults obesity is 35. 7% and in Children its 17%. One way that schools have combated this new bill is they use less food to make sure that each lunch has the required amount of calories per student.
But they also have been buying healthier food which in turn costs more money thus causing our price to go up on all lunches. One way to deal with this problem is buy the food in bulk and save money when they buy it. The problem that started this all was that the lunches in school were non-nutritional so they passed this bill. Malik Barrows a senior at Automotive high school said “at first there was no taste or flavor, now there is no taste, flavor, and now it’s healthy which worse (Yee 1) is. Many schools nationwide were feeding the kids not necessarily junk food but it wasn’t the most nutritional food.
The food itself was nutritional, but the amounts weren’t healthy and there weren’t as many veggies. A solution to this problem might be to spend the money and give us larger portions of food and more of what we want. Research done by UCLA show that kids need to be exposed to foods they does not like about 10 -12 times before they will eat them on their own (Yee 3). Also the administration makes food more enjoyable to eat. Because if something is fun you will want to do it more often. Another problem is that the lunches are not appetizing to many students.
At a middle school in New York several seventh graders pronounced vegetables as “gross” (Yee 2). Danielson Gutierrez age was interviewed at this middle school and he said, when he was asked about the fruit that he was given “I throw them out, I only like apples (Yee 2). William J. McCarthy, a professor at UCLA, said “If our task is to get children to eat fruits and vegetables we have to be willing to put up with the waste” (Yee 3). A solution to this might be to ask the students what they want to have in their lunches and not just put some kind of food in front of them and expect them to eat it.
Doing that is just like the Faroese commercials where they blindfold people and asked them what they smell , and there reaction is good because it smells good in the room, but when they take off the blindfold they see that the room is disgusting and that it was not what they were expecting, food is the same way. If a plate of food was placed in front of you and it looked appetizing, you probably would take a bite and try it. Come to find out that it was horrible and disgusting. Now when you see that food again you will not want to even give it a chance because of your last experience with that food.
The final problem is that there are not enough choices. If schools keep having the same lunch choices for lunch then it will get boring. Kind of like doing the same thing at a job after a while it gets old and worn out. Concluding this essay it might help you realize and try to change this bill and stop obesity in a different way. But schools will continue to cut corners if you don’t speak up and say what we want for lunch. If you don’t use your voice then nobody knows what you want and they go off of prior knowledge. And that is not always a good thing.