By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook
Middle school children who regularly eat school lunches are more likely to be overweight or obese, develop poorer eating habits and have high levels of “bad” cholesterol compared to those who bring lunches from home, according to new study from the University of Michigan.
The study, which examined the eating habits of nearly 1,300 sixth-graders over a three-year period, found that those who at the lunch served at school ate more fat, drank more sugary beverages and consumed fewer fruits and vegetables.
The same students had higher levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins), or "bad" cholesterol, compared to their peers who ate lunch prepared at home.
“This study confirms the current and escalating national concern with children’s health, and underscores the need to educate children about how to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices early on,” says Elizabeth Jackson, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Health System. “Although this study doesn’t provide specific information on nutrient content of school lunches, it suggests there is a real opportunity to promote healthy behaviors and eating habits within the school environment. This is where kids spend a majority of their time.”
4 months ago