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School Lunches Have Gotten Much Healthier in the Last Few Years, Data Shows

School Lunches Have Gotten Much Healthier in the Last Few Years, Data Shows

Across the board, school lunches have gotten significantly better for students since 2012

Data also shows that childhood obesity is generally declining.

School lunches have gotten significantly healthier since 2012 — when school lunch reforms introduced by first lady Michelle Obama were first implemented — a federal report has found.

The report revealed that almost 80 percent of schools offered two or more vegetables per meal in 2014, compared to 62 percent in 2000; 78 percent of schools offered two or more fruits at lunch; and a third of schools are now equipped with salad bars. Other changes include the removal of sugary beverages and the reduction of sodium levels across the board.

“Literally, the way the school lunch line looks is different,” Deb Bentzel, senior associate at the nonprofit Food Trust in Philadelphia, told The New York Times. “It’s brighter, it’s healthier-looking, it’s fresher.”

Unfortunately, plenty of students are still resistant to actually eating the healthier food — they’re actually throwing the fruits and vegetables away — but nutrition experts understand that these changes will take time.

In the meantime, childhood obesity rates have shown “promising declines,” and given that students consume up to half their daily calories at school, the changes represent a national shift in how children are being fed — whether opponents to these reforms like it or not.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


Unhealthy Foods Most People Think Are Healthy

Trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, and recommendations seem to change faster than Usain Bolt can run 100 meters. Every week seems to bring new research claiming that what was considered to be bad for us is actually good — and that what was considered good is, in fact, not good at all.

It can be crazy-making, and for those of us who aren't professional nutritionists, it's hard to get a good sense of what's genuinely healthy, what's just hype, and what we should avoid. Luckily, there are some excellent resources and research are out there to help all of us — in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis' character in Freaky Friday — make good choices.


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