Healthier School Lunches Can Lead to Eating Disorders?

Healthier School Lunches Can Lead to Eating Disorders?

There was a news report released this week stating that the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that has been enacted to serve healthier school lunches to school kids may actually go too far and lead to disordered eating. There is some concern that approximately 30% of kids may be exhibiting at least one symptom of an eating disorder.  Honestly, I cannot see much of a connection. The school programs just serve food healthier than corn dogs and pizza, although those might be on the menu too. How exactly does that lead to eating disorders?

I firmly believe that children need to be given healthy information about their bodies and food. But, to say that a program like this could cause eating disorders is ludicrous at best. No one is lecturing children. Instead it’s just healthier food. The school’s message when talking about this should be, and likely is, focused on nutrition and not weight.

A bigger contributor to disordered eating is the attitudes of the parents and the images and pressures in the media. There are of course other factors.  Simply serving children healthier food and providing nutrition information, and facts on portion size, could really go a long way.

If there are concerns, parents just need to sit down and explain to kids exactly why there is a food change and how it nourishes their bodies. While some of the reasons that the programs are being put in place are childhood obesity, part of it is nutrition as well. It’s about time that we upgraded the food being served to children in public school.