Schools adjust menus to help reduce obesity rates

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR

Starting in 2013, vending machines and restaurant chains with 20 or more locations are planning to post calorie information. Sugary soft drinks have long been blamed in part for America’s growing obesity problem, and some health advocates believe posting calorie information will have a positive impact on the country’s collective waistline.

Will knowing calorie information benefit and reduce the steadily growing obesity numbers in America? Only time will tell.

Yolanda M. Brown, Cafeteria Manager at Lowery Elementary and Middle Schools, said the only thing it will reduce is the kids’ lunch participation.

“I don’t think it’s going to help for the simple reason that they are going to go for the stuff that’s in the vending machines,” Brown said. “Chips, cold drinks, that’s what they go for. That’s what they want.”

Brown said the state instituted some changes in the school’s lunch menu, but it’s pretty much the same.

“Everything is balanced meals,” Brown said. “Everything on the menu is calorie accounted for.”

Donna Madere, Cafeteria Manager at Donaldsonville High School, said she’s seen adjustments in the lunch menus.

“Now we use more turkey meat and offer more fruit and vegetables and more variety at breakfast so the kids have more healthy choices,” Madere said. “Because of the obesity in America is getting out of control.”

Madere believes posting the information can help with the obesity problem with time.

She said, “Start with the primary so that we can teach them good eating habits early.”