Low-Income, Minority Students Suffer Most
Under Relaxed School Lunch Standards
"Our high income kids, even our middle income kids, they are not eating meals in school," says Rebecca Hasson, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan and director of the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory. "They eat breakfast at home and bring lunches."
Primarily, it's the low income and minority students who eat school meals, Hasson says. These kids are already the least healthy, and the newly relaxed nutrition guidelines for whole grains, salt, and milk could further worsen their diets.
"Some of these kids eat as many as two-thirds of their meals at school," Hasson says. "This is also the group with the highest rates of obesity, the highest consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and the highest sodium intake and hypertension, both in youth and as they age. To relax the sodium and milk restrictions and allow for sugar-sweetened milk and increased sodium in meals will disproportionately affect these kids in youth and into adulthood.
"We have evidence that suggests there is a direct link between sodium and sugar, and obesity and diabetes and a whole slew of diseases that Michelle Obama was trying to impact."
— Source: University of Michigan