Childhood Obesity Numbers Changing School Menus - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/8/04

Childhood Obesity Numbers Changing School Menus

Starting in August, school menus across the state will change. Do you know what your kids are eating at lunch time? Are they choosing fruits and vegetables, or maybe tater tots and pizza?

Childhood obesity is considered by some experts to be one of the greatest medical risks faced by children today, so the Texas Ag Commission is enforcing some schools change up the menu.

"This particular change is coming about I think mostly in response to the obesity issue that our nation faces right now. I'm not real sure what's going to happen with all the changes, we're in the process of reviewing it and analyzing it as a company and as a school district to make the changes," said Philip Archinal Aramark Food Service Director for LISD.

Archinal says he expects kids will still have a choice for lunch, but that those choices are going to be better for them. At Irons Jr High so many students were choosing food from the snack food line, like pizza and corn dogs that they had to open a second snack food line to serve all the students in the cafeteria.

"We do offer everyday a salad or a sandwich, we offer vegetables and fruit everyday and at this point we let the students choose at most schools and most grade levels," said Archinal.

But apparently not all students are choosing healthy foods, or the obesity issue wouldn't be a concern. Aramark does not know specifically what the menu changes will be or if it will cost the district more money. They will finalize the plans to go into effect when school starts back in August.

Most people would agree that our kids need to eat healthier, but here are a few reasons why it's important. If left unchecked, childhood obesity can lead to diabetes, orthopedic problems, pre-mature puberty, respiratory complications, hypertension, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Last month the Junior League of Lubbock voted childhood obesity as their next impact area. That means over the next three years members will donate thousands of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to programs and organizations that will fight child obesity.

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