Taking School Lunch Seriously

Take a look at a few nutritional labels at the grocery store will show you one thing – a lot of our foods are simply packed with sugar.  In addition to the sugars that may naturally occur in food, some companies pack in additional sugar as well.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest is officially petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration to set a new standard limiting the amount of added sugars to food intended for school lunch programs.

The overconsumption of sugar can lead to problems like weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.  When you set your food consumption habits at a young age – especially in school – they can be hard to break later in life.  The 2020-2025 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that added sugars account for 10 percent or less of total caloric intake.  Even for a responsible eater, this can be difficult to achieve if one or two of your meals per day are coming from a school program, where breakfast dishes such as cereal are routinely served.  While everyone should remember to make their food choices carefully, it would help to have healthier options to choose from.