Is School Lunch a Contributory Factor to Childhood Over-Weight or Obesity in Elementary School Children?


  • Dr. Doret Ledford, PhD MPH Independence University


Body Mass Index (BMI), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Obesity, Overweight, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), socioecological model (SEM)


The federally sponsored lunch program known as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) was initiated in 1946.  One of its main goals is to provide free nutritionally balanced meals to school children daily, but it is not known whether this program reduces or increases the risk of overweight or obesity in children.  Researchers advocated that school lunches contribute to childhood overweight or obesity, but there has not been conclusive evidence. This cross-sectional study examined the impact of the NSLP versus home-prepared meals on childhood over-weight or obesity after adjusting for race, gender, ethnicity, and physical activity.  The implication for positive social change include knowledge and guidance useful to researchers, policymakers, parents, school administrators, and the community to help to make school lunches healthier but with less calories and to design






Peer-Reviewed Articles