School Lunch Program May Be Obesity Factor

ATLANTA, May 13 (UPI) — A U.S. researcher has linked child obesity and the federal school lunch program.

Rusty Tchernis of Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in Atlanta said children participating in the National School Lunch Program have an increased likelihood of being overweight.


However, Tchernis said participating in the School Breakfast Program was a more positive experience.

“The School Breakfast Program is a valuable tool in the current battle against childhood obesity,” Tchernis said in a statement. “Overweight children are more likely to become obese adults, so the only way to reduce obesity is to prevent it from happening in children.”

Tchernis and colleagues found those who participate in both the breakfast and the lunch programs were less heavy than those who didn’t participate in either program, or those who only ate lunch program meals.

The study, published in The Journal of Human Resources, looked at the relationship between the two programs and obesity using data on more than 13,500 primary school students. Students were interviewed in kindergarten, first and third grades, and then again in later grades.

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