Consistency in the National School Lunch Program

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The National School Lunch Program needs to standardize and regulate their set nutritional standards at all schools to help curb the growing prevalence of childhood obesity and other weight related diseases.

What is the National School Lunch Program?

“The National School Lunch Program, or NSLP, is a federally assisted meal program operating in over 101,000 public and non‐profit private schools and residential childcare institutions.” ("National school lunch," 2011) This government-run program is headed by the department of Food and Nutrition standards, a subgroup of the United States Department of Agriculture. “It provides nutritionally balanced, low‐cost or free lunches to more than 31 million children each school day in 2009.” ("National school lunch," 2011) According to government guidelines, as written by King 2011, set for the 2010/2011school year, a student is eligible for reduced lunch, which averages at 50 cents per meal, if the annual household income for a single person is $20,147 US dollars. For each person added to the household the annual household income increases by $7,067 US dollars. For free meals the annual household income for a single person is $14,157 US dollars. For each person added to the household the annual household income increases by $4,966 US dollars. (King, 2011) These lunches are vital to the student, as it may be their only access to a balanced meal each day.

Though the program is referred to as the national school lunch program, it is not isolated to lunch. “In 1998, Congress expanded the National School Lunch Program to include reimbursement for snacks served to children in afterschool educational and enrichment programs to include children through 18 years of age.” ("National school lu...

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Daniels, S.C, Jacobson, M, McCrindle, B, Eckel, R, & McHugh Sanner, B. (2009). Summary american heart association childhood obesity research summit: executive . American Heart Association, 119(15), Retrieved from http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/119/15/2114

Schwartz, M, & Chadha, A. (2008). Type2 diabetes mellitus in childhood: obesity and insulin resistance . American orthopedic association, 108(9), Retrieved from http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/reprint/108/9/518

Shahin, Jessica. US department of agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services. (2011). Implementation of the healthy, hunger-free kids act of 2010, snap education provision. Alexandria, VA : Government printing office.

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