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Schoolchildren Take To Social Media Over Lunches

Just Desserts

Schoolchildren in the US are using social media to sarcastically thank Michelle Obama for her work to better school dinners with a healthy eating plan.

obama school lunch
source: educationviews..org

School dinners have always been the focus of much scrutiny. With childhood obesity rising at an alarming rate across the majority of the world, there have been numerous campaigns and plans to help schools lay out a healthier lunchtime spread for their students.

People have always hated school dinners and I've never understood why. I always thought they were great! Though they were never big enough. Me and my friends were always left hungry and like a greedy pack of hyenas we would spend the second half of lunch time patrolling around the hall asking people if they were going to finish their half-finished dinners. We were probably responsible for lowering the obesity rate of children in Suffolk single handily. We were very lucky to remain so skinny. God bless fast metabolisms.

However, school children in the US are not quite as happy as me and my mates were with lunches and have taken to Twitter in order to highlight their frustration. They've all been posting pictures of their rather unappetising looking lunches with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama. I've seen some of the pictures; I’d be quite upset too. Where’s all the turkey twizzlers and sponge pudding?

This is all due to a government backed health initiative which began in 2012 with a goal of reducing childhood obesity by cutting down on sodium, sugars and fats available at school. It also requires more fruit, vegetables and whole grain be more readily available every day.

I remember when a similar initiative rolled out in the UK thanks to cheery chappy chef Jamie Oliver. No longer were there chip butties and soft drink vending machines every day. I think they probably did us a favour.

obama school lunch


Despite the rather flawed launch of the new lunches, something does still need to be done in the US. Since 1980, obesity among US children and adolescents has tripled, and today 19.6 percent of children aged 6–11 and 18.1 percent of adolescents aged 12–19 years are categorised as obese. It is time to get munching on that celery rather than those burgers.

Unfortunately, a healthy diet also has to continue on at home and unless a child has options to healthy food throughout the day, it’s not looking good for their health. As things stand now, perhaps a bit more work needs to be done for this initiative. Just search for the hashtag and have a browse at the pictures. I’d not eat your lunch while you do though.

Last year, Michelle Obama commented on the initiative saying that: "I have never been more optimistic about our prospects for solving this problem. And I am confident that, with leadership from America's business community, we can give all our children the bright, healthy futures they so richly deserve."

obama school lunch
source: dailymail.co.uk

In spite of the backlash she’s currently receiving, not everyone is against the new healthy plan.
The United States Department of Agriculture who oversees this initiative defended the plan and Michelle Obama.

"Students are always provided full servings of both fruits and vegetables as well as protein options, so clearly many of the photos posted do not fully reflect the full range of choices students are provided."

I’m sure that the picture of one option doesn't reflect the range of choices. But you have to look at the standard of the choices. It’s unacceptable. If you received a meal such as that, you’d throw it away immediately. Why should children have to tolerate food that's not held up to a high standard. 

I’ll cook them a nice lunch. I make a mean chilli.



Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Schoolchildren Take To Social Media Over Lunches Reviewed by Tom Welby on Tuesday, December 02, 2014 Rating: 5
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