It may seem obvious, but offering free fruits and veges in school curbs childhood obesity.
Often, efforts to combat obesity are focused on removing foods, reducing portions, and taking away sugar and fat. But it turns out that the cheapest and most effective way to trim the obesity epidemic among American students may be to give them free, healthy food at school.
Common sense is not always evident in the regulatory standards of school lunches. According to a study conducted by a research team at the University of Arkansas, giving students free fruits and vegetables increased their intake of healthy food, and also added the benefit to their diets of vitamins and nutrients found in fresh vegetables and fruit.
The study was published in the journal Applied Economics Perspective and Policy. It reviewed the current status of the USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in schools. The program gives Elementary schools who have a high percentage of students receiving free and reduced price lunches a small allotment per child per year in order to provide free vegetables and fruits for snacks between meals. The study found that in Arkansas, the program was linked to a 3 percent decline in obesity.