Archive for the ‘School nutrition’ Category

Georgia kids can’t touch their toes. Can schools fix that?

Schools are being asked to get students moving more. (Vino Wong/AJC)

Schools are being asked to get students moving more. (Vino Wong/AJC)

Before I began writing about education, I never thought much about all that we ask of schools, from teaching kids calculus to civics to character to cardiovascular health. As an editorial writer, I would attend meetings where one group after another would tout some critical new skill that kids ought to have or some societal problem that schools ought to fix.

But I began to realize schools can’t be ground zero for every societal change; they simply don’t have the time or resources to tackle every challenge facing America today, including childhood obesity.

Can schools help? Sure, but I doubt schools can solve a problem that begins in the home with poor nutritional habits and lack of regular physical activity.

With that backdrop, here is an AJC story on just how out of shape Georgia kids are.

According to the AJC:

Only 16 percent of a million Georgia schoolchildren were able to pass five basic tests of …

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Spelman ends sports program to devote funds to overall campus fitness. What do you think?

We have frequently discussed whether k-12 schools should maintain competitive sports programs, citing other countries where athletic teams are not fielded by schools but by community groups. The costs of school-based sports programs have become a factor now when every penny counts.

But we have not looked at college sports.  The AJC reports that Spelman, a noted black women’s college in Atlanta, announced it would use the nearly $1 million that had been dedicated to its intercollegiate sports program, serving only 4 percent of students, for a campus-wide health and fitness program benefiting all 2,100

According to AJC.com:

“When I was looking at the decision, it wasn’t being driven by the cost as much as the benefit. With $1 million, 80 student-athletes are benefiting,” said Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, Spelman’s president. “Or should we invest in a wellness program that would touch every student’s life?”

Spelman’s decision won’t influence the Georgias and Ohio States of the …

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Does milk still belong on school lunch menus?

Schools are finding it tough to ban chocolate milk. (AP Images)

Schools are finding it tough to ban chocolate milk. (AP Images)

Does milk still have a place on school menus? The question is provoking debate locally and nationally. And at issue is not just chocolate milk, but plain milk as well.

This week, a Decatur schools committee recommended banning chocolate milk in k-3 and phasing it out for grades 4 and up. The school board did not act on the recommendation but plans to consider further.

According to the AJC:

In coming months, Decatur school officials will weigh the cost of substituting healthier options; but will children eat them?

Clare Schexnyder, who was among the parents empaneled by the superintendent, said it’s a public health issue. Medical experts have been sounding the alarm about obesity and diabetes.

“There is just no reason to be giving them sugar to start the day,” Schexnyder said.

Some, including Diego Wren, think the proposals go too far. The 7th grader at Decatur’s Renfroe Middle School had just downed a …

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Study: Kids slimmer in states with limits on school snacking

A new study suggests a link between limits on school snacking and weight gain in students. (AP Images.)

A new study suggests a link between limits on school snacking and weight gain in students. (AP Images.)

A new study may tip the balance in the debate over whether stricter school nutrition and vending machine policies can play a role in combating the growing childhood obesity problem in this country.

The study found that kids in states in which laws have been enacted limiting snack and soft drink sales in schools gained less weight in a three-year time frame than their peers in states where no such laws have been passed or where the laws are weak.  (The literature now refers to those vending machine snacks and drinks as “competitive” foods in that they compete with the healthier fare that schools offer at lunch.)

While the study doesn’t prove a link between healthier weights in adolescents and fewer unhealthy snacks in schools, it suggests a strong correlation.

Daniel Taber, a fellow at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Chicago and one of …

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