In attempts to combat childhood obesity, a new law has been passed in the United States of America which requires schools to have healthier school meals at lunchtime. The controversial new act has been met with a mixed reception from children, parents and teachers alike as now, for the first time ever, schools in America are required by law to have healthy food options. Gone are the days of fries, burgers and hotdogs. And instead; school children are now much more likely to see fruit, vegetables and “healthy choice” option on the table, as well as smaller portions to manage calories.
A report from “USA Today” states that the move has been met with negative response from both teachers and children alike. The article, which states children no longer have the freedom to choose what they eat in school, are being forced to have smaller, healthier portions which is leaving them hungry after mealtimes. One student featured in the report, a high school football student, claims that the portions are almost half the size compared to what they were a year ago.
A not-so-subtle protest video made by students in America has been created to raise awareness of students going hungry in school. The video hints that while students are indeed forced to eat healthy in high school cafeterias, many students, hungry even after lunchtime, simply resort to going to the store to get the food that they want.
The move is all down to new government nutrition standards which completely monitors the amount of food that can be served at any given time to students and children in a schooling environment for the sake of monitoring health and combating America’s continuously publicized obesity epidemic. Calories are now monitored, unhealthy foods high in calories and high in saturated fat such as cake and the aforementioned burger and fries have since been replaced with fruit, vegetables and “healthier alternatives”.
America isn’t the only country to have their meals monitored by the government. Throughout the 2000’s, a campaign headlined by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, completely revamped the way school dinners are prepared and served to students in the United Kingdom.
However, not all of the feedback has been negative. A contrasting report from “SF Gate” shows that a school in Lincoln is prospering from the new regulations with their students and staff alike happy with the newer, healthier meal options.
Regardless of the controversy, there are currently no plans to reverse the law as America continues to take action to make its population healthier all in the name of combating the obesity epidemic.