Group calls for healthier cafeteria options

Jan 27, 2011

Unhealthy cafeteria foods can lead children down a road of poor eating habits

Chicken nuggets, pizza and French fries have become staples in many school cafeterias. However, excessive quantities of those dishes can pose major health hazards.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is urging lawmakers make children's school lunches more healthy by offering vegetarian options and reduced fat meals.

PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard says lawmakers need to take action to help bring healthier options to children's lunch plates.

"One in three kids is now overweight, but many schools are still struggling to serve healthy lunches," says Barnard. "Schools should offer low-fat vegetarian options every day, and Congress and the president should take additional steps to give schools the resources to make that feasible."

Health professionals recommend people eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables and limited quantities of fats and sweets. Children who are used to consuming improper foods are more likely to develop serious medical conditions that could ultimately lead to higher life insurance premiums.

Healthy habits are picked up early in life, which is why advocates are pushing for better choices for children's lunches and snacks. 

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