Junkfood Science: Cut and paste: school nutrition research goes to Canada

May 08, 2008

Cut and paste: school nutrition research goes to Canada

A new study was just reported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada as finding that schools that stop offering sugary sodas and fatty snacks could see significant drops in childhood obesity in just two years — a 33% lower risk for becoming overweight among the students.

A gold star if you realized it was the same study reported last month.

Remember those long-awaited results of the intensive program that put to test the Student Nutrition Policy being promoted in U.S. schools? It threw every intervention recommended in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating and Physical Activity at the kids. While billions of dollars were riding on proving school healthy eating programs are effective and help children, the results didn’t receive much fanfare here.

Not surprisingly. Despite what it put the children through, the school nutrition program had no effect on the incidence, prevalence, or remission of obesity, nor on changing BMIs. Worse, the intervention actually resulted in the children eating fewer fruits and vegetables. Rather than repeat the full scoop and the story behind the claim it lowered the risk of overweight, simply cut and paste the comprehensive overview here.

For readers who may be unfamiliar with the Heart & Stroke Foundation, it’s a partner in the Canadian Obesity Network. According to its position statement on school nutrition, a recent survey found school children in Nova Scotia had poor diets, with over half not meeting Canada’s Food Guide to Health Eating for fruits and vegetables. Are kids really eating that badly?

The food guide for those 4 years of age and older recommends 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, as well as low fat milk products, lean meats, and whole grain and enriched products.

It pays to ask how success and failure are defined.

Bookmark and Share