RGS6035.E2 - Chapter 1
Effect of Nutrition on Academic Performance
Every year millions of tax dollars are spent on school nutrition programs all over the United States. Legislators across the nation lobby for coordinated school health programs and place increasing emphasis on student nutrition. Television commercials remind kids to eat a balanced diet and food products aimed at students are everywhere. In recent years a sudden increase of new breakfast related foods has flooded the market and never has there been so much information about the vitamins and minerals children’s foods contain than now.
For years there has been an initiative to promote better nutrition in schools. With ever growing healthcare concerns such as obesity and diabetes, education on these topics is the first line of prevention. In addition to curriculum, programs targeting the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains have been started. Many schools have removed fryers from their kitchens and are choosing to prepare foods in a healthier way. Government programs to offer free and reduced meals at schools are a growing steadily. State and federal mandates are requiring more rigor than ever to provide students with nutritious balanced options.
For over one hundred years, providing the nation’s low-income youth with nutritious food has been a concern. To see that food insufficient students were adequately fed, school lunch programs began during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. From the beginning the program had two goals: to make use of surplus agricultural commodities owned by the government as a result of price-support agreement with the farmers and to help prevent nutritional deficiencies among low-income school children by feeding them nutritious meals. On June 4, 1946 President Truman signed an act known as the National School Lunch Program...