A recent Atlantic article reported that most kids in Los Angeles' school system are not eating healthy lunches. On any given day, less than half of students took a vegetable from the school cafeteria's lunch line and ate it. I'm not shocked by this statistic, but I wish the number of kids eating veggies were higher. Processed foods, which dominate many students' diets, don't have the nutrients they need to be healthy. Schools seem to care more about what the students want to eat than what's best for them. The L.A. school district has been and continues to adjust their cafeterias' menu to fit what kids want to eat, moving away from their old healthy foods initiative. In the newest rendition of the school district's menu, hamburgers are offered every day. Some might argue that kids, especially older kids, should know how to tell what's healthy and what's not and make the right decisions for themselves. If they want to eat junk food every day, that is their choice and we shouldn't interfere. However, I think that the current system impairs kids' ability to make the right food choices, and we should work to improve the situation. There are two changes that I believe would change the way that students eat their lunches:
I hope that the Los Angeles school district reverts back to its old, healthier menu, and that other school districts follow in its footsteps. The cafeteria menu shouldn't change; students' attitudes should change, and we need to help make that happen. One out of every 3 kids is considered overweight or obese in the United States. Let's work to reduce those numbers— starting with the way kids eat lunch.