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Guest: Curbing childhood obesity starts with school lunches

A RECENT federal report states that obesity rates in children have declined in some states and among some socioeconomic segments of the population.

The improvement is modest — no state had a drop of more than 1 percentage point — but it got me thinking that we’re not teaching our kids proper nutrition by what we’re feeding them every day.

School is about to start and we’re all in panic mode as we scramble to pick up school supplies and new sneakers. As we restart the daily routine of planning school lunches, we have an opportunity to re-evaluate what’s in those lunches.

Notwithstanding that slight improvement reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1980 the number of obese 2- to 5-year-olds has doubled, nearly tripled for 6- to 11-year-olds, and more than tripled for 12- to 19-year-olds. We could see our children’s generation grow up to be sicker and die younger than our own.

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