MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 4, 2012

Caloric intake for students needs review

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new lunch guidelines need review.

The guidelines say schools can serve only:

• 650 calories per day to elementary students;

• 700 calories per day to middle school students; and

• 850 calories per day to high school students.

The guidelines are roughly one-third of recommended caloric intakes for children.

That may not be enough for many students — particularly in our area.

The guidelines presume a child is receiving the correct number of calories the remainder of the day.

That is just not happening at many homes in our area.

More than 70 percent of students in Muskogee schools are receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

The recommendations are also based on average intakes. Some students — particularly athletes — need more calories.

The guidelines were put in place to help curb an increasingly evident problem — our children are growing more obese by the day.

Wouldn’t it be better if public schools put more emphasis on exercise and increase the amount of calories per day per student?

At the very least these guidelines need to be reviewed after every semester to ensure the guidelines are leading to more healthy students and not just leaving more students hungry.

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