THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM AND CHILDHOOD OBESITY: IMPACTS OF RECENT POLICY CHANGES
Toomajian, Kathryn Neal
ABSTRACTThe shocking increase in childhood overweight and obesity over the last few decades has led to renewed attention to the National School Lunch Program and the nutritional quality of the food it provides to participants. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), this paper examines whether recent federal policy is associated with a reduction in the rate of childhood overweight and obesity among the lunch program's participants. Initial preliminary and descriptive statistics on the National School Lunch Program's participants between the years 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 do not indicate a shift in obesity, yet further examination will be needed to determine whether the rates of obesity among participants have changed in recent years. This paper will use household income, grade level, and other demographic variables to determine whether participants in the National School Lunch Program in 2005-2006 have lower Body Mass Indexes (BMI) on average compared with participating students in 2003-2004.
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Does Participation in a School Lunch Program Increase the Incidence of Obesity in Low Income Children? Veldman, Amanda (2006-04-18)America is under the influence of an epidemic - obesity. It is becoming one of the greatest health problems facing the nation. Healthy practices begin at an early age and most obese children grow up to be overweight adults. ...