As Michelle Obama took to the pages of Newsweek to explain her crusade against childhood obesity and to introduce her Let’s Move program to a wider audience, some sobering news comes out of the University of Michigan.
Research presented this past weekend at a meeting of the Annual College of Cardiology determined that kids who eat lunches served by their schools are almost 60 percent more likely to be overweight or obese when compared to children who bring their lunch from home.
The survey of nearly 1,300 Michigan-based sixth graders, taken over three years, also found that school lunch eaters ate more fat-intensive meats and sugar, as well as fewer vegetables than their counterparts—which contributed to them showing elevated levels of bad cholesterol in their bloodstreams.
Given that for most children, school lunch is, as President Obama has said, their most-balanced meal of the day, it’s hard to believe that there won’t be some correlation between family income level and obesity risk.
The team is still trying to determine the impact of socioeconomic factors on their data set, e.g. whether low-income children, who are more likely to consume school lunches, are overrepresented in the at-risk group.
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